Bell Pottinger, South Africans and Mandela

2017-07-07 04:58

In 2003 Bernard Ingham, the long serving chief spokesperson to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, wrote a book. He entitled the book: The Wages of Spin. In the book Ingham is talking about the ultimate destiny of people who spin the truth for their pay masters. It seems sweet and nice to spin the truth and feel as if you are on top of millions of people because you are fooling them. It seems joy and satisfying everyday generating startling and disturbing demonisation of opponents, telling lies and twisting things to suit your pay maters, but in the end there are wages to pay.

For all the anger on Bell Pottinger we should also consider the corollary. It is because of Bell Pottinger that we now know that South Africans have been greatly instructed by the lessons of Nelson Mandela. South Africa as a nation has been tested and found to be a veritable coherent idea.

The ultimate test of the pudding is in the eating. After the test, Bell Pottinger's apology acknowledges South Africa as veritable. It says:

“At various points throughout the tenure of the Oakbay account, senior management have been misled about what has been done.  For it to be done in South Africa, a country which has become an international beacon of hope for its progress towards racial reconciliation, is a matter of profound regret”.

It had been argued that, more than any other racial group in South Africa, the Africans, who forms the core of the country, had come closest to embracing the promise and possibility of one nation. They had been more willing than most to accept the prospect of an evolving trans-racial community, and have done their part to make such community a viable one.

On the other hand, it has been argued that White people has carried on with their lives, business as usual from apartheid times: that they play the ostrich. This is an irritation.

Unless all the groups within South Africa work across racial lines to forge a nation, the country's very foundations will continue to be challenged by international forces as Bell Pottinger did.

The process of building a nation with shared aspirations and common destiny, is an arduous, painful and conscious undertaking. Nelson Mandela only gave us the compass.  Our task is to get out of the comfort zones and break the ground – create a road leading to a veritable, vital, and robust nation.

Nelson Mandela based his leadership on few key mantras among them: Reconciliation, Rainbow Nation, Simunye (We are one) and Masakhane which translates into solidarity among South Africans. The duty is to pause and reflect, seek ways to lift every South African out of squalor and economic suffering. In what way are you doing this in your little corner? There is really one thing that needs to be addressed in the main: The country’s resources (land, minerals etc) should be for all South Africans, not just for the few. All South African (particularly born South Africans) owns a patent to this country. There is too much suffering in South Africa, if we all can stand united in realizing economic freedom  for all, that will be a worthy loft grand goal. The Bell Pottinger expose by ordinary South Africans should also help in the whole international problems where companies and other nations come and settle in an innocent country and start to exploit and break it apart. The theater of international politics has always been a horrendous jungle, where companies and powerful nations empowered by the force of their arms and wealth, take leave of their humanity in deference to their greedy ambitions. This is where brutal nations become the undertakers of weak nations. The whole Africa is the feast and well as the venue of such international vultures where every beast of many lands come in to apportion the land for their greedy ambitions. Africa's natural wealth become cheap to finance their flamboyant lifestyles. And then we have the problem of ANC, a political dinosaur. To even begin to start thinking that Bell Pottinger was working closely with the son of ANC president in spinning and spinning this country to the edge of a jagged precipice is spine jingling. This is according to the Guptaleaks that he was the point man with this sort of dark work.

Bell Pottinger could have done a great philanthropy in the world, where instead of deploying their deceptive tools to plunge the country into anarchy - thereby breaking the legacy of Nelson Mandela, should help in strengthening it by creating a narrative that goes a long way in bringing South Africans together . That is, help develop narrative that encourages fellow South Africans to work together eradicating poverty.

It is good that they are apologizing in this time, in July, where the world and South Africans will be celebrating Mandela Day come 18th July.

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