Mandela marches sweep across South Africa

2017-04-08 04:20

Yes these were Nelson Mandela marches. On Friday, a critical core of citizens stood up as one beyond racial considerations and took a principled position for the destiny of South Africa.

Black, White, Coloured and Asians, disabled and not disabled – big numbers were buzzing the streets of the major cities. It was a people powered movement, above politics and above race. Was it the first time we saw citizens of this economically and politically polarised country put their hands on the arc of history to determine the destiny of their dearly beloved country?

Three key themes emerged from the Friday marches.

1. The dominant feature of the national marches was the South African flag. The flag represents the heart beat of every South African, no political party can claim to own or capture the flag. Even the youthful ANC military veterans or the Black First Land First cannot say the flag is for themselves only and not for all South Africans. The symbolism of the flag was powerful, because as usual there were strong attempts to divide South Africans on racial lines before and during the marches. In South Africa elections are won by appealing to emotions of race; the fear of the other. The use of the psychology of cultural tightness to uncanny effect. Psychologically, once you put people in such fear mode you can tell them to do anything and they will do it. This time the deceptive ploy failed. South Africans from all backgrounds participated. 

2. The message that rung across the marches was the tenets of the Congress of the People which was held in 1953 in Soweto: Standing up for South Africa. South Africa and all the people who live in it.

3. The mood was full of patriotic flavor. The real time photos and the video clips taken by South Africans on the scene points to the fact that South Africans are not as divided as extremists on both sides would have it seem. Nelson Mandela is South Africa’s context and thrust. The Friday national march was the bridge leading to that context and thrust.

One Coloured protester summarized the whole mood: It is not about DA or EFF or ANC it is about South Africa, we are here because of South Africa.

An African woman said: No Black South African, no White South Africa only South Africa. I am for South Africa. Look all over, I see South Africa.

A white couple remarked: “I’m here to show and demonstrate that we are not as divided as we are told daily.”

And so the Nelson Mandela’s rainbow nation for the first time raised its beautiful head, displaying its beautiful colors. This time the rainbow was solid and its colors glistening in the bright blue sky. The rainbow nation came in one united force in the name of the beloved South Africa. These were the people who were not determined to see South Africa dying so easily.

Many people have long developed a healthy dose of skepticism about Nelson Mandela's ideal society - a rainbow nation. It is so easy and lazy to look around and make a long crude list of the bad and the ugly - things that divide. How about reviewing your personal focus? The best thing you can do is to remain positive in many things in life. Nothing in this world can be perfect. All we can do is to aspire towards perfection. In the process teach, guide, motivate, reinforce fellow South Africans towards the Nelson Mandela ideal South Africa full of slogans of rainbow nation, simunye - we are one. The current challenges of leadership South Africa faces has nudged South Africans to step out to the grand mission. It is the beginning.

What was highly significant was the maturity and coolness of the marches. The marches were peaceful and orderly, no vulgarity, no shoving and no pushing, but the spirit of one united citizenship. We are excluding here the youthful and angry ANC military veterans who were chanting war songs and clad with military uniforms during the day of the marches. We are also excluding the Black First and Land First who were in a fighting and violent mood protecting the Gupta premises in Saxonwold.

A people with the extraordinary natural resources and variety of human talent has no reason at all to be declared junk by global economic indices that matter. The economic crisis South Africa faces is man-made, is manufactured by greed and criminal acts.

The Friday march was the beginning. Next week, the 12th April there is another march in the city of Pretoria. The march is organised by all opposition political forces.

And on the 18th April when the Motion of No Confidence against the president will be discussed in Parliament another march has been planned. So during the course of three unbroken weeks we will have three solid national marches, protests and demonstrations.

Going by what is out there in the wind, next week's march in Pretoria will be even more powerful. The EFF has declared the march the Mother of all Marches and the National Day of Action. It is not a threat. We know. When EFF start marching the whole world pays attention. Just watch.

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