Debates about Mandela
The debates have polarised between those that believe Mandela was a common terrorist and those that see him as a hero that stood up to an unjust system in which the black majority were treated as subhuman by the white minority.
In between those opposing views are those that blame South Africa’s woes on Mandela and those that believe that Mandela did his best however that the odds were stacked against him and that the global structure stood in his way.
It has become apparent to me that, those that blame Mandela for South Africa’s current woes are missing a point that is articulated in this comment over at The Guardian
Good points well made.
I think the main difference now is that black South Africans can actually join the elite at all, and the playing field has been largely levelled. That just leaves the usual problems of wealth inequality which frankly, will take generations to resolve.
Mandela was instrumental in breaking down the barrier between black and white. The barrier between rich and poor is a different war to be fought.
The legacy of apartheid is most visible within South Africa’s townships and we can agree that there is still a lot of work to do to improve life for many South Africans . In my opinion Mandela started the country on that journey, however it was not up to him to complete that journey. All South Africans must carry on where Mandela left off and in particular fight the war against poverty.
Yes Mandela could have adopted policies such as the ones adopted by Idi Amin in Uganda of expelling Asians and Mugabe in Zimbabwe seizing white owned farms but let us step back and examine the outcomes of those policies in the countries concerned. In my mind’s eye Mandela and his lot found a happier balance, imperfect as it was.
It is hard to say with any certainty how things will pun out on the political scene in South Africa, but one thing is certain Mandela’s work on earth is done and I think we can agree that for all his sins/faults, history will judge him kindly