The heavens have been pouring all over the country as if it was warning us of the sad weeks ahead. Gauteng has been experiencing hail storms and sporadic flooding for the past two weeks, and there’s no let-up anytime soon from Mother Nature! We had one too many unpalatable mixes within a single month, a bitter taste and string of bad news, in terms of economy. E-Toll, fuel increase and the dreaded Nkandla Report Scandal! There could be no worst timing than this, for any government to subject its citizens to so much financial burden with Christmas only a few weeks away. How cruel and inconsiderate this government has been to all law abiding South Africans. This Festive Season will go down in history, as the most impoverishing one ever….
While we were still licking our financial wounds and trying to refresh our composure from the embarrassing Nkandla Scandal; like a bolt from the blue: Madiba is Gone! How bad can things go in life? Like old Murphy’s Law says: If things will go wrong, they will! Mandela’s passing had been expected by many of us for some time now; but when reality struck, we all cringe with pain and shock! Madiba’s death summed up our history as South Africans, in one swing; forced us to look back where we came from. We have a shared history and we live under the same South African sun; black, white, green and blue! We are brothers, sisters and children of the African soil. This is home to all of us, we all belong together; whether we like to admit it or not, it’s a Madiba fact.
How soon we forget where we came from, even with Madiba still in our midst; the fighting never stopped! Bickering, racial slurs and backwardness where party politics took over from common sense of remembering the Mandela Dream of One United South Africa! I remember so vividly during Madiba’s tenure as our President, how the man stood tall and reached out all South Africans in every corner of our country. To Madiba, a united South Africa was the only way for the future of us all. He didn’t see ANC supporters in us, he saw divided citizens who needed a strong hand of guidance; and didn’t he provide that? I can say without flinching, that Mandela had that natural presence and father figure of a true president and statesman like no other. He wore his presidential armband with impeccable dignity, honour and respect beyond reproach. We were all proud to have a president like him, and more than proud to be South Africans! I mean the man was amazing; from prison to parliament and still had that magnanimous display of authority as the president of the country? Madiba was Class! He respected his office and never lied under oath as the president of the Republic. Nelson Mandela was OUR President; we loved him dearly for his selfless leadership.
His death must reunite and rebuke us from what we’ve become. We’ve morphed from being a Rainbow Nation into a twisted beast of hate, driven by condescending inanity and vulgarism. We are more divided today than we were before the new dispensation of our newly found freedom as a nation. The current leadership has failed dismally when it comes to uniting us as a people. They seem to have misread the preamble of our Constitution which says: WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA…Party politics, factions and groupings dominate our daily politics. We the People of the Republic, are suffering from amnesia, we’ve forgotten who we are, what we’re capable of doing and accomplishing when we stand together. We the People have forgotten to raise our South African Flag above party politics. Some individuals have marred the colours of our flag with their over glorified personalities thus deferring Mandela dream and ideals for true freedom for all. These self-same leaders are not afraid to make empty noise and remind us at every opportunity; about embracing the Mandela dream and ideals! What hypocrites…
It’s been a very teary week for South Africans, and some of us are not crying because Madiba is no more. We are crying because of the deferred and marred Dream that Mandela had for us as a people. We the people, feel like Mandela will go down the grave with all his ideals and dream, since his predecessors have failed to follow his tracks and footsteps during his lifetime. We the people; are afraid that Madiba, didn’t die a happy man and a fulfilled father of the nation; after having witnessed helplessly, the wrong course his predecessors were taking! Madiba died with a broken heart; after all the sacrifice he’d invested with more than half of his life in chains for our freedom, he didn’t see his returns. The old man worked tirelessly during his reign, walked the length and breadth of this country, reconciling and making peace with former foes in attempt to hand us a united South Africa. Madiba knew he had little time and pushed himself to the limit despite his already failing health. President Mandela didn’t see colour when dealing with us as citizens of this country, and he wasn’t fazed by the right wingers who wanted to throw this country into civil war. He visited them; he had tea with former first lady and widow of apartheid architect, in Orania. Madiba worked with all sporting codes of this country, supported Rugby, Cricket, Swimming, Athletes and Soccer without pretence.
President Mandela was not shy of working with the opposition parties, his cabinet included ministers who were none ANC members. Madiba was a wise president who knew how to use people’s strength to his advantage and to the advancement of South Africa as a country. He recognised good in IFP, NP, DP, PAC, Minority Front and others. Madiba knew the opposition parties had a stake in a true democracy and respected that; sometimes had to defend them during parliamentary debates from his own party members. I am writing this piece tonight with a very heavy heart and loads of rejection; I’m all miffed up and struggling to hold my tears. I am not crying for Madiba but, crying for South Africa, us as a country. This week when Mandela’s body lie in state for the public to pay their respect; it will be his unoccupied giant shoes on display and not his lifeless body! No suitors!!
Mandela shuddered in disappointment when he saw his life efforts go down the drain; when cadreship rose above our Constitution and the good of the country; suddenly a handful people became the measure and standard for the needs of more than 50 million citizens!
We can turn our tears into joy today as a country, if we could only reconsider, look back over our shoulders; and remember where we’ve fallen. Let’s take a few steps backwards and pick up the forgotten baton of our liberation, our freedom and the need to be united under one flag. Let us shun party politics that divide us a rainbow people. Madiba respected our Constitution above party politics; he revered and esteemed it very highly with utmost respect. Our current leaders are not preaching the Constitution under SA flag; they are in for themselves and have nothing in common with Madiba’s Dream and Ideals. How sad, how sad! How sad that we, the People of the Republic, have allowed Madiba’s Dream to be so defiled and so defaced till we cannot read it.
I wipe my tears, saddle my horse and ready myself to join the march, this Mandela Trail; and follow in his giant footsteps. We can’t miss this trail; Madiba’s footsteps are that of a giant and cannot be ignored in this lifetime. I call on all South Africans to dip their feet into Madiba’s shoes as they lie in state this week; let us run in there with a single purpose of mind and united to fulfil Mandela’s Ideals and Dream for a truly free South Africa. I wipe my tears today because it is the same giant, the same Mandela, who said: “If the ANC government do to you what the Apartheid government did to you; you must do what to the ANC government what you did to the Apartheid regime.” I stopped crying!
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