Jacob Zuma: This is not a time to settle scores

2013-12-14 11:01

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President Jacob Zuma has berated politicians who might use Nelson Mandela’s death to try and settle scores.

“Comrades, I would be very happy that as we mourn and celebrate Madiba, we do not abuse his name,” he said today at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria.

We should not think that Madiba’s passing is a time for settling scores,” Zuma said at an ANC ceremony before Mandela’s body would be flown to the Eastern Cape for his state funeral tomorrow.

“[If you try settle scores], it means you do not understand Madiba and you will never understand him, because he was a man of honesty.”

Zuma said Mandela was great because he was a thinker and a doer.

“He [Mandela] combined two things that are not easy to do: to combine theory and practice.”

Mandela’s leadership example has been a talking point since his death last Thursday night.

Former police commissioner Bheki Cele warned against comparing Zuma with Mandela during an address – because they are from different eras.

Speaking at the Oxford Shul in Joburg on Sunday, former president Thabo Mbeki said South Africa ought to ask whether the quality of leadership it has, does measure up to the task of transforming the country.

This week, human rights lawyer George Bizos said our leaders should not pretend to be following in Mandela’s footsteps: “Who do our leaders think they are fooling when they tell us they are following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela?”

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