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Mandela was not perfect, but he was not a sellout

08 Oct 2017 at 21:09hrs | Views
'I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and a free society in which all persons will live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and see realized. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die,' Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela said, a former political prisoner who would go on to become a global hero.

Mandela was prepared to die for both the black man and the white man. In other words, he didn't see people as black or white, but as equal human beings. He understood that South Africa is not a Garden of Eden where man was created. But its entire people have migrated there at some other times.

But despite outlying his vision for a non-racial South Africa, he was still sentenced to life in prison. At one point, Mandela was offered freedom by the apartheid government in exchange for denouncing the struggle, but he refused, choosing to remain in prison instead. So was this man really a sellout? Did he become a sellout before or after he took power?

Mandela was not a saint. But he was also not a greedy monster who sold away his people.
But surprisingly, there are some disgusting comments about Mandela. Some fake populists and even a dictator have called Mandela a sellout. So one might ask where the proof that he was a sellout is. What was Mandela supposed to do?  

Was he supposed to confiscate white people's houses, businesses, cars and shoes and distribute them to the blacks? Is it really wise to give a car to a man who does not know how to drive or the road signs and he does not even have money for fuel?

If Mandela were to confiscate the land from the whites, what about those who lost their land during the Mfecane or Difaqane madness?

Our lives begin to end the day we allows the powers of insanity to defeat the powers of wisdom.

Let us understand that madness can't cure madness. Only wisdom can cure madness. The sins of the past are too complicated to overcome with a big hammer.

We must stop blaming other people for what we don't have. You can't blame Adam and Eve for not creating a toilet paper or a smartphone. You just create one. We should not behave like coward hyenas that just want to eat meat while they don't want to hunt.

The time is now ripe for South Africa to address the land issue and poverty. South Africans are not poor because of Mandela, but because of poor leadership and to a certain extent for their love for unnecessary luxury items.

Mandela is not a man who thinks with his mouth but with his brain. He has destroyed apartheid. Now it is up to us to completely destroy the shadows of apartheid wherever it might be.

Some of those who are calling Mandela a sellout are the worst sellout themselves. When Julius Malema was the ANCYL President, he became a walking shop. He bought expensive wrist watches. He flew to Mauritius just to dance and pop expensive champagne. He lived a good life on the spoils of corruption. He flew business class and wore expensive clothes than Bill Gates. He swam in the sea of milk and rivers of honey. And he became so fat even a pig would have advised him to watch what he eats.

The difference between Mandela and Malema is huge. But one stood out. Mandela was prepared to die for his people, while Malema was prepared to kill his own people for Zuma, the man who could be mistaken for a street sperm bank.

When you want to kill for a man, you are a total sellout. Today you kill for Zuma, tomorrow you will kill for the Gupta and the list just goes on and on. A true leader does not kill/die for another man; he kills/die for an idea.

Across the Limpopo River, the 'napping' dictator has no kind words for Mandela after waking up from his usual nap either. He prides himself for empowering his people. But if he had really empowered his people, than we would all be flocking to his country in search of employment. Not the other way around.

The dictator cannot be compared with Mandela either. When Mandela was sick, he was treated in his own country where he died. The dictator is a kind of a leader who would fly abroad to seek treatment for a toothache. He is a kind of leader who would fly abroad to buy a toothbrush or a shoe brush. His wife is a kind of a person who would travel abroad to but toothpicks, teabags or just an extension cord. And his sons are the kinds of people who would fly abroad just to buy ice cream or condoms.

The dictator used the land invasion to survive politically and to win voters, but not really to empower his people. If he was so serious about giving land to his people, why did he order operation Murambatsvina where thousands of his people lost their houses?
In a race of donkeys, even the slowest horse would always come first. So the dictator is not the best leader either.

It is plain clear that the dictator is suffering from leadership fatigue. He is so old now he appears to be evolving into something else. But still he does not want to retire.

He killed and starved his own people in order to stay in power. And his country seemed to be run by two people from the bedroom. Now his country is so hopeless even a monkey would migrate out for greener pastures.

So to those who are saying that Mandela was a sellout, perhaps they need to go back to school. But I wonder if a person like Malema and the dictator would be able to pay attention during lessons.

Salom Shilongo is the author of 'The Hopeless Hopes.' Email:

Source - Salom Shilongo
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