It is fair to say that Nelson Mandela was not ANC

2013-12-13 02:29

Possessing a powerful will, articulate, stubborn, implacably strong willed and a mind steeped in deep dense African heritages and traditions – Nelson Mandela’s youthful life up to his golden old age has been a constant unconscious tension with the African National Congress (ANC), which was essentially and inherently communistic in perspectives and manifestations.

The apartheid Government from the very beginning (through a thorough comprehensive surveillance and intelligence gatherings) recognized Nelson Mandela as a profound unique individual with supreme qualities, and from the very beginning they marked him apart from the rest of the Black leaders as a nuisance not to be convinced but to be crushed.

It is impossible to attack existing structures, to bring about a new order, a radical change of belief and institutions and not stir up a variety of impulses from all sorts of people to indulge in motives different from the original genuine idea. Take for example Martin Luther way back in the medieval times. Martin Luther was not a Lutheran. Rebellion and violence were not what Martin Luther wanted, nor what he preached. Martin Luther only preached that “man’s only true freedom is spiritual. All else leads to anarchy, and must be the devil’s work”. Martin Luther’s theology was above organizations and institutions. He relied solely on the Bible, on Christ alone; on grace and faith.

Nelson Mandela’s life was not about freedom but self affirmation, of course the results of self affirmation leads to freedom. Nelson Mandela's struggle was essentially a struggle against the apartheid ideology that sought to tarnish the beautiful human elements in the African soul. His was a struggle of natural justice. Though he wholly embraced the African National Congress logic carried him to see the whole struggle in a universal circumference. Like he shockingly revealed that his life was about fighting against all manner of domination black or white. This was rather a new perspective in the ANC orthodoxy. His views and his ideological positions were self expressive flowing from his mind and heart without concern of the organizational set-up that he found himself in, that is the ANC. This is personal freedom. His spirit was not organizationally trapped. That is the reason his life is celebrated beyond organizational trappings. His life is universal because the ideals he expounded were not organizational but universal.

While serving his long prison term in Robben Island under great and harsh difficulties he had to find time to pen a letter declaring that he was still a member of the ANC. This was a respond to great doubts and the rumor mongering that was precipitating through the whole underground terrain of the ANC. Further Nelson Mandela early on after the prison release was to have a rather sullen public altercation with Walter Sisulu.

Later on Thabo Mbeki when becoming president after Nelson Mandela, his actions and orientation was to set himself distinctively and consciously apart from a Nelson Mandela world view that was forged on the foundations of national reconciliation and unity – in fact President Thabo Mbeki adopted a rather unique Africanist identity that left most non-Africans citizens wondering, ultimately forcing people into all manner of national and Continental debates and discussions about who is an African.

Nelson Mandela was more concern with the individual soul and its rightful original and true human standing. He sort to remedy the immediate situation that he saw. Because in the eyes of the Apartheid government of his day when he started out, the African people were just taken to be caterpillars, locusts and monkeys. So his struggle at the seed level, at the primary and elementary level was for a cry for restoration of the true human image. In a primary and elementary way Nelson Mandela built a foundation through personal revolts to such issues as burning of permit (identity document) that described the African person as a non-citizen in his or her own country. The burning of the identity document was not an organisational expression but it was a personal expression - he did not march with masses of people when burning his identity document - he did that personally alone.

Personal and youthful energy that Nelson Mandela radiated in the trains, cafes, and other black social gatherings contributed to fresh impetus for rebelliousness already endemic in the country. With his education from University of Fort Hare and later Wits University he provided personal clarity and eloquence to the frustration of many ordinary people. He provided the intellectual ferment at the personal conscious level in the hearts of many people, the yeast without which revolt could not turn into a national rebellion. His teachings and free personal expressiveness were refreshing breezes that ushered in a hurricane of self determination later on.

Nelson Mandela during his reign as President of South Africa, his role was still above party political concerns. He did not set himself to implement party primary documents. His concern was a society where people from divergent backgrounds are equal and free, where all distinctions and differences dissolve in a community of charity and love.

Nelson Mandela is no ANC in the very similar vein that Abraham Lincoln the great emancipator of Black slaves is no Republican Party, and yet he did led the Republican Party.

Perhaps Nelson Mandela’s global world wide appeal can be best understood less in purely political confinements BUT in a much wholly social and psychological context. In this way the ANC which he led with passion, dignity, deep respect and impeccable honor is not the point of all considerations but rather it is just a part of the larger context that Nelson Mandela expressed his life. This is what Barack Obama sought to put across in his much acclaimed and revered all embracing moving memorial speech.


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