Madiba’s ideals tainted

2015-07-15 06:00
Lehlohonolo Nyetanyane, Social activist

Lehlohonolo Nyetanyane, Social activist Foto:

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“I HAVE fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a free and democratic society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal I hope to live for and to see realised. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” X Nelson Mandela

I THOUGHT I should start with this quote from Nelson Mandela during the Rivonia trial in 1964 in order to set the tone for this article.

Following the elections on 27 April 1994, Mandela was elected the first president of a democratic South Africa and presided over a multi-party parliament.

Most notable of all was the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) whose supporters were shot dead during the Shell House massacre in down-town Johannesburg.

In March 1994, 19 IFP supporters died after Mandela had issued a command to ANC security guards that ANC leaders and property be protected at all costs during the IFP’s march to Shell House.

When Mandela delivered his inaugural state of the nation address, IFP parliamentarians never shouted: “You killed our people at Shell House.” All members upheld the decorum of parliament and addressed Mandela as “honourable President”.

During Mandela’s term, none of the MPs were ever wrestled out of parliament for one reason or the other.

The less said about the convoluted theatrics in the 5th parliament by MPs from both sides of the house, the better.

In 1998 national rugby boss Louis Luyt took Mandela to court after the latter had instituted a commission of inquiry into alleged racism and nepotism within the rugby union. In tandem with his subscription to the principle of Fiat justitia ruat caelum (Let justice be done though heavens may fall), Mandela went to court to state his case.

In essence, he was showing the world that nobody was above the law – that democratic accountability was the cornerstone of the new dispensation. Currently some public representatives and members of the Executive dilly-dally when they have a date with the court.

For the first time in 21 years of democracy, the Judiciary feels it is under unwarranted attack from Government and the Executive.

Just recently, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and Judge-Presidents of various High Courts convened a special meeting to raise alarm bells against the perceived threat to the Judiciary’s independence.

Surely Mandela was never prepared to die for the brazen disregard of the rule of law.

In 1995 Mandela appointed George Fivaz as national police commissioner.

Unlike his two successors, Fivaz did not leave the police service with his tail between the legs.

Mandela would rather die than see his people plunged into abject poverty while a few public representatives enrich themselves from public funds.

Perpetual embezzlement of public funds tarnishes the ideal of equal opportunities that Mandela cherished.

This revered statesman would be offended that (Police) minister (Nkosinathi Nhleko described a swimming pool at his tile-roofed house in Qunu as a “firepool”.

As a founding secretary of ANC youth league in 1944, Mandela would not be proud that ANCYL’s national executive committee does not exist – and that lately, young lions do more weeping than roaring.

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