Dear Madiba, we lost the baton

2014-02-16 10:00

Dear Madiba,

Hope you are doing well in your new celestial home.

How is Tata Walter and Ma’m Albertina?

They must be so happy to have you to chuckle with.

And what about Jakes Gerwel, your trusted lieutenant?

Not forgetting Moses Kotane, Oliver Tambo, Solomon Mahlangu, to name just a few.

When President Jacob Zuma delivered his sixth state of the nation address in Parliament on Thursday night, he mentioned the legacies of Kotane, Tambo and Mahlangu.

Their families were present and, as usual, it was an inspiring evening.

Our multiparty, multicoloured, multigenerational legislature at the foot of Table Mountain must make you so proud. We hope so.

But we hope you were not in celestial-observation mode on Wednesday. That’s when we dropped your baton, terribly.

It was as if the governing ANC, which holds you in such a firm embrace, forgot your legacy, even though you have not been gone for three months.

You were a guerrilla fighter and revolutionary, yes, but you also bequeathed to South Africa a peaceful transition upon which to build the foundation that President Zuma refers to every year.

Imagine how this legacy was squandered on Wednesday when the ANC mobilised a street army to defend itself against a march by the DA.

It was a silly march, Madiba. Why DA leader Helen Zille (who incidentally also claims your mantle) had to hold a jobs march to another party’s headquarters is anybody’s guess.

After all, the party harps on about how politicians cannot stimulate jobs growth. Why then march on the ANC, in helmets, with ripped bodyguards forming a cordon?

Maybe the large and powerful ANC should have let it be, like the Beatles song, take the memorandum, shake hands and move right along.

Somewhere in the chaos of bricks, Molotov cocktails, hammers and violence, we lost the baton of peace you left us. Sorry about that.

We will try to find it again.

Love, Mzansi.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.