Sexwale: Understand Mandela's message

2012-07-26 13:35

Johannesburg - Leaders should not use former president Nelson Mandela's name without understanding the quality of his message of unity and non-racialism, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said.

"It is totally pointless today to recite the name Mandela, inserting him in every sentence that we speak... when little or no heed is taken of his teachings," Sexwale said.

Sexwale was speaking at the fourth annual Nelson Mandela Lecture at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality on Wednesday.

He said Mandela was a great leader and often criticised the young generation while simultaneously helping to shore them up as future leaders.

"Our young people of today, the economic freedom fighters, have got to draw a leaf from the lessons of this historical experience," he said.

"At the same time, you are duty-bound not to repeat the same mistakes of the generation of Mandela which they have long since corrected."

Sexwale said a leader should be the centre of attraction and a rallying point of his people.


He said the sowing of disunity would be the downfall of many leaders.

"Such political leaders... are destructive and can best be described as political grenades," Sexwale said.

"Put such leaders amongst people, they always split them."

The leaders of the Mandela-era were driven by a sense of constant willingness and readiness to serve the people, not for divisive, monetary, corruptive, selfish, sectarian and factional interests, he added.

Sexwale said a wise leader should identify threats, opportunities and anticipate them during a report-back session with people.

"A leader should expect to be booed before being wooed, to be jeered before being cheered. Therein lies the strength and effectiveness of a leader."

On 18 July, Mandela celebrated his 94th birthday. The day is marked as International Nelson Mandela Day, a UN-backed event.

  • bob.mcmillen.564 - 2012-07-26 13:47

    Mmm,not sure about Sexwale anymore, I used to think he would make a great president but lost my respect when he backed Malema, difficult to trust the man after that.

      james.bondiski - 2012-07-26 13:50

      if he doesnt back malema he would be a good president!!!

      procold2 - 2012-07-26 14:41

      spot on bob,

  • Squeegee - 2012-07-26 13:48

    The word 'unity' was left out of the ANC dictionary.

  • Ntobane Setabola - 2012-07-26 13:51

    The whole complete statement is actually indirectly directed to Zuma. Anyway those are good guiding words Tokyo,hope you practise what you preach. Eish nawe Zuma mn,please rectify your things.

  • gladstone.dyonase - 2012-07-26 13:52

    Oh, Mr Sexwale come on! Now that your bank is full of money you got from tenderprenueship, you start to talk of corrupt leaders. Just keep your mouth shut big bro. Who are you trying to fool, yhe?

  • cj.venter - 2012-07-26 13:53

    madiba should tell the country how disappointed he is in the ANC and tell people he's vboting for DA :)

  • musamuskid - 2012-07-26 13:54

    ANC is the master of contradiction

  • smiso.mkhonza.9 - 2012-07-26 13:58

    Who cares about what you say and your youth , we know that you and your friends are behind the same agenda as others , you can campaign elsewhere not south africa

  • nina.ignjatov - 2012-07-26 14:03

    Sexwale you are one BIG corrupt individual!!!! I pray to God that you do not become a President!!!! You will be worse than ZUma and are far worse!!! You are behind Julius Malema and his views!!!! You can never be the man Mandela was!!!! Go away you CROOK!!!!!

  • jacob.mphatswe - 2012-07-26 14:03

    A leader must expect to be booed before being wooed and to be jeered before being cheered.Tokyo Sexwale. I cannot agree more,please repeat it at Magaung.

  • Henk - 2012-07-26 14:07

    BEE = Racism!

  • Phelamanga - 2012-07-26 14:08

    The only problem with what Sexwale says is "economic freedom fighters". This smacks of Malema, and it is a vacuous and meaningless phrase, especially from a man who has used his connection to the ANC to enrich himself. The only way for young people to become economically relevant is quality education, hard work and the will to succeed in a society that has legislation that promotes opportunities for all people, and not the few highly-connected cadres. This is the way it has been for thousands of years. Economic freedom implies that there's immediate gratification by taking what is not earned and giving it to people who don't deserve it, and who do not know what to do with this kind of freedom. It will create a downward spiral, because after all the mansions, cars, clothes, watches, bottles of Johnny Walker, Moet & Chandon have been bought, consumed and disposed of, there will be a wasteland of overfed, overweight incompetents who are still unable to do an honest day's work, sitting with court cases over their heads and possible jail sentences. It looks as if Sexwale is pandering to the ANCYL for support in his bid to replace another incompetent. It looks as if he is describing himself with "for divisive, monetary, corruptive, selfish, sectarian and factional interests". He is no Mandela!

      B.b. - 2012-07-26 14:25

      Well said cadre

  • ifundi - 2012-07-26 14:09

    This guy runs with the wolves and hunts with the foxes

  • nhlokza - 2012-07-26 14:16

    You all use Mandela's name to score political points.To prove me wrong,donate 67% of your wage to Mandela's cause.Talking to you all in the Anc cabinet.

  • phello.madisa - 2012-07-26 14:30

    Tokyo,Comrade Tokyo is a member of the NEC he should have raised that question at tne NEC!LOL ...who remembers this comment? For change though i concur with you but........remain there don't try to hard for this one aspiration of your's not NOW!

  • gail.hayesbean - 2012-07-26 17:40

    I like the soundbites quoted and feel that regardless of the fact that he backed Malema at some point I'd like to hear more of what he has to say. There were certain things which Malema said which I actually agreed with. Sadly he backed a very distracted and destructive person for president but he had spoke for many many people. Tokyo in his own way is truly a man who could unite the party given that he has a white wife and coloured children (merely a description perhaps but significant nonetheless). I do not know the source of his wealth or the level of his education however he has more gravitas than Zuma. Of course he may be associates and even friends with some of these people but does he have the same political and personal goals as they do? I like the sound of jeered before cheered and booed before wooed provided the lessons and the boos and jeers are heeded and policies altered and meritorious appointments made rather than based on who is who amongst the liberation commandoes. I'd like to hear how he proposes to level the economic playing field so that the wealth is properly utilised on health and education and security for example which will benefit the majority. That is why I voted Yes in 1994. I did not vote for lavish weddings and ridiculous functions when the priority is to provide employment for the majority. I want to see more austerity among politicians in terms of planes and cars and I want to see ministers leading by example by prioritising respect for work.

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