Former president Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel said she feels “betrayed” by some leaders that have been elected to lead the country.
She said the the issues of state capture and corruption by politicians continued to dominate the news and that the country needed a plan to redress social ills.
Machel was speaking at the 11th Dullah Omar memorial lecture at the University of the Western Cape on Tuesday.
“We feel betrayed by some who we have elected to lead and govern us with responsibility, accountability and respect for the constitution. They put themselves and their coffers ahead of the wellbeing of the country and the people.
“Political assassinations have become common especially in KwaZulu-Natal. Just a few days ago in East London a political conference ended in bloodshed. Those we have entrusted for our wellbeing are not leading with a sense of ethics and morality,” she said.
Machel also addressed violence against women and children and said there needed to be a dialogue within society.
“As a society we have normalised living in violence. The prevalence of violence against children, women and the elderly is an indication of the decay of moral fibre. Violence against foreigners, Afrophobia, is an indication of a nation that is at war with itself.
“We need to heal mentally and emotionally. Perhaps ubuntu can be our social healing. Utilise your intellectual capital and build among yourselves as academics and society,” she said.