I'm a white Afrikaner ex policeman who was stationed in Durban during the volatile period of the 1980s. I was stationed on the very infamous Riot unit which was stationed throughout the locations during the riot era of the time.
I was on duty the night of the Magoo's Bar bomb which McBride was responsible for and I was witness to many necklace deeds and atrocities during that era in the black areas. I was told as a young policeman that Nelson Mandela was a terrorist and our enemy and that he deserved to be behind bars for ever. I never knew what he looked like because I was born in 1964 a year after he was jailed for the 1st time and I always saw on rallies the banners which demanded the freedom of Mandela.
I resigned from the police in 1989 and joined a cash in transit security company SBV. A year later Mandela was a free man and I remember the 1st time I saw an official photo of him and I thought to myself that he didn't fit the part of a terrorist?
Then as time progressed with the CODESA negotiations I experienced the calm and collect and soft manner in which he presented himself in general. Then he started reaching out a hand of reconciliation and forgiveness and I then realized that this is a special human being.
I was raised as a Christian to forgive unconditionally and I witnessed Madiba doing just that. My respect and trust for him grew stronger and stronger over time and I was in awe of this special man coming from jail after 27yrs with no animosity and hate, but only forgiveness and love. I occasionally received negative reaction from some of my friends and family when I attempted to put him in a good light, but as time progressed I succeeded to convince some of them that Madiba was indeed a special man.
Today I'm mourning Tata Madiba's passing away, but I'm celebrating and embracing his forgiveness, love and strive for peace for everyone. Madiba's struggle was a huge success, his sacrifice was not in vain and his stretched out hand of forgiveness and love has paved the way for people across the race spectrum to stand together as one in this time of sorrow and heartache. I believe God put Madiba in this land for a reason, because SA is special to God, SA is the light of Africa and it's people is the salt of this continent which preserves the true essence of reconciliation.
May we never deviate from Tata's vision and legacy and may SA prosper to the best it can be. In the words of Martin Luther Kings's wife: Freedom is not finally won, it's won through every generation time after time. May God have a special place for Tata Madiba in heaven and we all wish to see him there one day as one of the angels. I believe God is smiling on his soul as man who lived out God's biggest demands to the fullest-LOVE & FORGIVENESS. RIP TATA WE SHALL NEVER FORGET YOU. :(
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