Editorials 3.7.2014 07:00 am

While we cried for Mandela, they lined pockets

Millions of South Africans were devastated by the death of the founding father of our democracy, Nelson Mandela.

To many, the former president was an iconic figure who was a source of inspiration to millions of his fellow citizens and millions of others globally.

What we find deeply troubling, is how when people were mourning his passing other shameless opportunists had no qualms about using the funeral of this great man to line their own pockets.

Last week, several high-ranking municipal officials, including a mayor of an ANC-run council, representing the same party Madiba sacrificed so much for, were arrested for allegedly stealing millions of rands intended for his memorial services.

Yesterday, further shocking details emerged of how unscrupulous suppliers, with the help of corrupt council officials, inflated prices for services and goods for the funeral whose total bill exceeded R21 million. Mandela’s personal sacrifice in order for us to enjoy the freedom we have today cannot be overemphasised.

It is a disgrace that instead of him having been accorded a dignified send off befitting a man of his stature, a few shameless scoundrels within his own movement used his death to feed their voracious appetite for wealth.

 

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