I read an article about President Zuma being booed by the crowd. I know some would want us to look at the article and laugh and maybe even say it serves him right, unfortunately I don’t share the sentiments.
Tata Mandela is an icon of South Africa and of the world, no doubt about that. He did not acquire this status only by spending 27yrs of his life in Robben Island or because of the fact that he was the first Black president. Listening to all the speakers yesterday one thing, more than anything else, reverberated and that is – when uTata Mandela walked out of prison he was prepared to sit down with his enemies, hear them out and talk till they reached an understanding, regardless of whether it was the same understanding or not. Yesterday was about that man. A man who epitomized the spirit of open dialogue in a respectful and dignified manner, even with the very people who did all they could to bring him down. A man who reminded us of the spirit of Ubuntu. Yesterday was all about reflecting on and celebrating the life and eventually the death of that very man. Yesterday was not about the ANC, not about President Zuma, not about SA politics and certainly not about President Obama. Yesterday was about uTata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. A man people travelled from across near and far to celebrate and pay their last respects to. A man who was the envy of all nations all over the world and yet belonged to us, South Africans. The man we should have been proud to send off with dignity and pride. A man who made it a possibility for all South Africans to have democracy in order to exercise their rights, have their say and choose their leaders in a democratic process. An ideal which he fought for all his life and is still open and available to all. The last time I checked the meaning of democracy, nowhere does it signify disrespecting and humiliating one another. I do not believe that this is the democracy uTata Mandela fought and died for.
Of all the days, of all the occasions and of all the times in the world, we chose the day of uTata’s memorial service to tarnish his name, his memory and all that he stood for.
I am so disappointed, for once I do not agree with all those who booed President Zuma and those who are making jokes about it.
Yesterday we humiliated the whole of South Africa in front of the entire world. If uTata was still alive he would have shared in the humiliation.
Yesterday I did not wish to be called South African.
Yet, if there is anything I was proud of yesterday is the fact that inspite of all the disrespect and humiliation, President Zuma held his head high and gave a good speech. Yesterday I was proud of my President, Mr Zuma because he stood with pride and epitomized the very thing that uTata lived and died for DIGNITY, INTEGRITY AND UBUNTU. Halala Babu Zuma, halala!!!
- H Moshidi
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