'Politicians who use Mandela's name negatively are politically bankrupt'

2015-11-28 10:00
Nelson Mandela.(Photo: File/AFP)

Nelson Mandela.(Photo: File/AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Politicians who use former president Nelson Mandela's name negatively are politically bankrupt, ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte has said.

"We have taken note of the fact that very new on the scene politicians are using Madiba's name negatively to popularise themselves and we think it is very disingenuous," she told News24.

"It does show a... lack of understanding that indeed they are able to do what they [are] doing in the country and externally because of the calibre of people like Madiba, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and Oliver Tambo and many, many others."

Duarte said the African National Congress would not engage with politically bankrupt individuals.

She was reacting to statements made by Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema during a visit to the United Kingdom.

'That’s when he turned against himself'

Malema told the Oxford Union in the UK that Mandela had turned his back on parts of the revolution after being released from prison.

"The deviation from the Freedom Charter was the beginning of the selling out of the revolution. But why did Nelson Mandela sell out the Freedom Charter? When Mandela returned from prison he got separated with Winnie Mandela and went to stay in a house of the rich white men... he was looked after by the Oppenheimers," he said.

"Nelson Mandela used to attend the club meetings of those white men who owned the South African economy at the time."

Malema's comments were in response to a question on whether Mandela betrayed the people of South Africa in exchange for political power.

Malema said these white men had access to Mandela 24 hours a day and they told him that "what he represents would not be achieved".

"That’s when he turned against himself," Malema said.

Duarte said it was important to remember that Mandela worked as part of a collective and never took decisions alone.

"He consulted others... and indeed if we didn't have the character and calibre of leaders that we did in 1990 the situation in South Africa would be one where we would still be at war with ourselves as a country.

"It took a lot of courage, it took... sacrifices and indeed compromises, which not everybody might have agreed with...," Duarte said.

'Mandela is being denigrated by anarchy'

There was no ideology in Malema's comments, she said.

She admitted that although institutions of democracy had been established and everyone had the right to vote, the economy was not democratic and was not in the hands of the people.

But Duarte questioned why Malema was making the comments in the UK.

"The problem is, you go to the UK where you make these kinds of statements and [you're] talking to people whose interests are not to invest in the country, then the question we must ask is who are these people, what are their interests and what is the interest of the person who is speaking to them.

"It must be anarchy and Madiba was totally against anarchy and I think that is why he is being denigrated by anarchy at the moment."

Duarte urged all South Africans to recognise what Mandela had done for the country especially next month when they commemorate the second anniversary of his death.

Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  jessie duarte  |  nelson mandela  |  julius malema

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
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 24.com 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.