Sexwale on Mandela: The prophet’s lips are sealed. Who speaks for him now?

2013-12-07 09:22

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Now that Nelson Mandela is gone, those he left behind in positions of responsibility should champion his legacy, says Tokyo Sexwale.

Sexwale, a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, says Mandela’s death was expected, but no less shocking as a result.

“The shock is the realisation that indeed Madiba is gone. What also drives it more is to see leader after leader in the world talking [about it]. It becomes real now.

“The physical Nelson Mandela is no longer with us. What is the legacy that we should pilot, those of us he has appointed to positions of trust in his trusts and foundations?

“The message should be that the prophet’s lips are now sealed. The question is who speaks for him now that he is not there. Will you stand up and speak for his values when they are downgraded in any part of the world? The values of democracy, social justice, freedom of speech, freedom of the media and women’s rights?

“Wherever any of these things are subjected to attack, will you stand up and speak for Mandela? Tears will dry, emotions well up, but that will pass. At that time, therefore, the values, ethics and principles of Nelson Mandela need to be defended and fought for with the kind of courage that he had.”

Sexwale described Mandela, whom he first met in prison although he had stayed at the Mandela family home in Orlando in the 1970s, as both “salt of the earth” and “purest gold”.

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