Today Nelson Mandela, Mandiba, ?was hailed by people around the world as “the last great liberator of the 20th century,” and he was a remarkable figure.?The story of Nelson Mandela is larger and grander in scope than many of the great novels or blockbuster movies that we have all grown up on.?But….
Like all great figures and all great stories in this story too there is that tragic word, “but.”
The Freedom Charter of the African National Congress (ANC) states:
The People Shall Share in the Country`s Wealth!
The national wealth of our country, the heritage of South Africans, shall be restored to the people;
The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the Banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole;
All other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the wellbeing of the people;
All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions.
The Land Shall be Shared Among Those Who Work It!
Restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land re-divided amongst those who work it to banish famine and land hunger;
The state shall help the peasants with implements, seed, tractors and dams to save the soil and assist the tillers;
Freedom of movement shall be guaranteed to all who work on the land;
All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose;
People shall not be robbed of their cattle, and forced labour and farm prisons shall be abolished.
Nelson Mandela negotiated the transfer of power between the white government of the National Party, led by F. W. DeKlerk, and Mandela’s own ANC. In one of the few non-violent transfers of power in human history the optimism and hope generated in South Africa overshadowed one failure. Civil rights, voting rights, “equality” before the law WITHOUT economic equality, WITHOUT economic justice is false.
South Africa is one of the richest countries in the world. Gold, diamonds, uranium, ?other mineral riches, as well as excellent farmland, ocean fisheries, opportunities for tourism, the list is practically endless as to why the citizens of South Africa should be among the richest in the world. But they are not. They are not because Mandela negotiated for political power rather than economic power.
Bypassing the promises of his own party, promises that thousands of South African black peoples died for, and unless I am mistaken giving your life for a cause should trump serving 27 years in jail before being crowned President, ignoring the blood shed and the lives spent, Mister Mandela traded away the store for the vote. No nationalizing of the gold wealth. No nationalizing of the uranium mines. No nationalizing of the diamond mines. In short, under the ANC, the oppression of blacks, the stealing of their labor for masters in Antwerp, New York, and so on was to continue. The only difference is that the ANGER the RAGE that was leading toward a true revolution was diffused into a peaceful vote, the crowning of a modern saint, Mandiba, and the introduction of the “new” boss who was “same as the old boss.”
Nelson Mandela was a remarkable person. You cannot read his story and not be amazed at the arc of history and his role in it. It is incredible and deserving of respect.
Edited/Published by: SB