Columns 19.7.2018 08:15 am

Madiba’s principles are no more

Nelson Mandela. Picture: GCIS

Nelson Mandela. Picture: GCIS

When will South Africa and its people move past Nelson the man and rather follow his visions, ideology and principles?

There is no legacy more overused than that of Nelson Mandela. Party politics would not be what it is if the name did not go hand-in-hand with every political campaign needing credibility.

July can be ever so tedious when even the most meaningless things are branded with Mandela’s name.

When will party politics move past one single man; when will South Africa and its people move past Nelson the man and rather follow his visions, ideology and principles?

We have allowed ourselves to be guided by his personality, not by his principles. We have immortalised the human being but buried his principles …

We have dumbed down to simply being followers of a character and not being led to the same level of compassion, empathy and selflessness.

We cannot all be deputy Messiahs but we ought to strive to be; we cannot all throw ourselves before the mercies of courts for human rights but we should stand for something; we cannot all free the world from all injustices, but we should refuse to accept it.

Daily we sit back and watch as injustices are dished out like a double serving of dessert at a wedding buffet. We sing the praises of the man but in our everyday actions go against everything he stood for – in our silences when women are raped and murdered, when children are abused and neglected.

We grow more and more into everything the icon we celebrate stood against … our silence speaks far louder than our whispers of disapproval.

Political parties are by far the worse, they scream “the ideals of Tata”, yet carry on their mandates which tarnish his name.

We live in a state of hypocrisies and double standards, but in July, we Madiba jive as one…

We are a country of contradictions. We sing the national anthem together but pick it apart once the need for togetherness dissipates.

No legacy is as abused as that of Mandela, a truly expensive name used for cheap gimmicks. We have long buried everything he stands for. We remain divided in gender, race, culture and religion.

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo.

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