I was born and raised in Africa, and having lived in South Africa for many years I feel that it would be fitting for me to write something about Nelson Mandela’s passing. He was a great leader revered by many for his humility.
The media loves to report that Nelson Mandela was a saint and he was illegally imprisoned by a racist regime for opposing apartheid, but that’s simply not true. Nelson Mandela was a member of the communist-backed ANC party. Together with Joe Slovo, a Lithuanian Jew, Mandela formed and headed up the communist party’s uMkhonto we Sizwe – the Spear of the Nation. Under his leadership, many innocent men, women and children of all races lost their lives in bombings in public places in South Africa.
In 1962, Mandela was arrested, together with several other communist party members both black and white. Between them they were tried for 221 acts of sabotage against the South African government.
Apartheid in South Africa was wrong, as was the racial discrimination that took place in the US in the ’60’s, but any government would do the same to political criminals who conspired against them and murdered their citizens.
Mandela could have been sentenced to death, but instead he received a life sentence.
In 1989, the moderate, F. W. de Klerk became the president of South Africa and soon announced his policy of reform and his plan to end apartheid. He legalized the South African Communist Party and met with Nelson Mandela at the prison. In time, Mandela was released and subsequently voted in to become president.
In his years as president, Mandela was known by the nickname Madiba, a tribal title of respect. Mandela strove to relieve racial tensions and succeeded in bringing the people of South Africa together, which gained the country the name ‘Rainbow Nation’.
Madiba’s humility is probably what made him great. In books and speeches he made a point of admitting his errors and stating that he was flawed just like the rest of us.
Nelson Mandela made his mark on the world and will be remembered by many with respect and affection.
Rest in Peace, Madiba.
Trish Jackson is the author of several romantic suspense fiction novels.