Nelson Mandela belongs to the ANC too.

2013-06-28 11:26

The past two weeks have been nothing but scary as Nelson Mandela’s health made its turn for the worst.

We watched as the Presidency issued statements on Mandela’s health. But these statements end up being misinterpreted by most journalists.

Some journalists like etv’s Third Degree lady know things about Mandela that even the doctors don’t know. Some International News sites have already announced his death and some published obituaries.

But I am not to comment on that today.

Yesterday media frenzy happened, not because of Mandela but because of the ANC which camped outside the Pretoria Hospital and had a night vigil praying for Mandela’s health.

Mail and Guardian first reported “ANC electioneering outside Mandela's hospital”

Then twitter was flooded with tweets expressing anger at the ANC for cheap politicking and using Mandela’s condition for their own political goals.

I think there are things that some people don’t want or fail to understand because of their dislike for the ANC.

I know we share Mandela with the rest of the World; the ANC does not own him like Nelson Mandela does not own the ANC.

But he is a huge part of its history; you cannot separate Mandela from the ANC. Without the ANC, the world would have never known Mandela. The world knew him through the ANC but the ANC was not known through him.

Writing a letter to Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki argued

In the context of the global struggle for the release of political prisoners in our country, our movement took a deliberate decision to profile Nelson Mandela as the representative personality of these prisoners, and therefore to use his personal political biography, including the persecution of his then wife, Winnie Mandela, dramatically to present to the world and the South African community the brutality of the apartheid.

ANC members have all the rights in the world to camp, hold night vigils and pray for Nelson Mandela outside the hospital. We all should not be surprised and start accusing its leaders for cheap politicking.

If the worst can happen and Mandela leaves us, ANC members and supporters will all stand up and say farewell to their leader.

They will wear ANC T-shirts, fly ANC flags and posters, and wear ANC colours. These will have ANC’s leader faces on them; they will have Mandela, they will have Thabo Mbeki and they will have the current president Jacob Zuma. And all will be written VOTE ANC.

Reporters will have to understand that Nelson Mandela is not a neutral or an apolitical person. He is an ANC member who is still in its NEC list.

He endorsed Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, attended their inaugurations and first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Throughout his life Nelson Mandela, has worked tirelessly for the ANC. it was him who said that when he goes to heaven; he will look for the nearest ANC branch.

Like Makaziwe his daughter said on a SABC interview; people and political parties must stop interpreting Nelson Mandela for their own interests. The ANC does not claim ownership of him; but its history claims him.

If Nelson Mandela could hear ANC members singing outside the hospital and could speak; he would probably tell them to sing louder.

If he would read that they’re accused of electioneering; he would tell them to up the notch a bit.

Follow on Twitter @Esethu_u


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