South Africans and many others around the world are still in a state of shock and mourning after last week’s passing of former president Nelson Mandela. The former statesman’s memorial event at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday brought with it some notable highs with cringe worthy lows. One of the low points of proceedings was the booing of the current president Jacob Zuma.
The incident has sparked debate over Presidents Zuma’s waning support and the question as to the timing of the booing, many stating that it was a case of wrong place, wrong time. The ANC’s response however has been predictably harsh. Jackson Mthembu has been quoted as stating that, “"Whoever was party to that did us, as a country, a disservice.” It would then appear that the party pressurised the country’s national broadcaster, the SABC, to all but erase the incident from their reports.
Examining the facts I feel, as a South African, conflicted. On one hand I feel disappointed that in this time of great mourning we couldn’t take one afternoon to put our differences aside and come together as a country. However, on the other hand I am seething at the ruling party’s response to the incident and generally disappointed at our current president efforts.
One thing has become clear, for me, from this incident; the passing of former president Mandela has forced us to take a close look at our efforts over the past two decade of democracy and although I feel that we have made huge strides to political and economic freedom for all, we still have a long way to go.
If you would like to continue this debate find me on Twitter, my handle is @AndrewParsonson. I will follow and reply to any who are interested.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.