Posted by: Dr Churchill | December 9, 2013

Mandela – Madiba – Leader

Over the next eight days, a series of events will commemorate the man who steered their country out of white-minority rule.

US President Barack Obama, Francois Hollande of France, and UK’s prime minister David Cameron, will be among those attending Tuesday’s memorial at the FNB Soweto stadium.

South Africa’s parliament is paying tribute to Nelson Mandela, as world leaders prepare for Tuesday’s memorial service.

The parliament sitting comes at the start of a week of commemorative events before a state funeral held on the 15th of December at the Eastern Cape village of his birth.

Some 60 world leaders are expected to attend either the funeral or a national memorial service on Tuesday.

On Sunday, millions took part in a “day of prayer” to remember the country’s first black president.

Monday’s parliament sitting will be a special session and will remember Nelson Mandela as a leader, as a Man, and as the first Democratic President of South Africa.

Amid all the fanfare though, it’s good to remember that Mandela stood for CHANGE.

He stood for Human Rights and not for the Status Quo…

He stood for Democratic leadership and citizenship for ALL.

He stood for Equal Rights and Equanimity for ALL.

He stood for HUMANITY.

Here is some good evidence of that kind of Leadership:

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary from the get go and yet tempered enough to be fair and magnaminous when he had won after a long and bitter struggle.

Even when he served as President of South Africa from 1994-1999 he was a True hero of the Revolution of the Heart. A loving father to a nation made up of many different tribes, races and creeds.

Back in the 1950’s, while working as an anti-apartheid lawyer, Mandela was repeatedly arrested for ‘seditious activities’ and ‘treason.’ In 1963 he was convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Mandela served 27 years in prison before an international lobbying campaign finally won his release in 1990.

In 1993 He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

In 1994, Mandela was elected President and formed a Government of National Unity in an attempt to defuse ethnic tensions. As President, he established a new constitution and initiated the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions to investigate past human rights abuses, and to uncover the truth about crimes of the South African government, using amnesty as a mechanism.

Nelson Mandela was a powerful and inspirational leader who eloquently and forcefully spoke truth to power. As tributes are published over the coming days, the corporate media will paint a sanitized portrait of Mandela that leaves out much of who he was. We expect to see ‘safe’ Mandela quotes such as “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” or “after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

To share some Nelson Mandela quotes which we don’t expect to be read in the corporate media’s obituaries is proper and correct:

  1. “A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.”
  2. “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care for human beings.”
  3. “The current world financial crisis also starkly reminds us that many of the concepts that guided our sense of how the world and its affairs are best ordered, have suddenly been shown to be wanting.”
  4. “Gandhi rejects the Adam Smith notion of human nature as motivated by self-interest and brute needs and returns us to our spiritual dimension with its impulses for nonviolence, justice and equality. He exposes the fallacy of the claim that everyone can be rich and successful provided they work hard. He points to the millions who work themselves to the bone and still remain hungry.”
  5. “There is no doubt that the United States now feels that they are the only superpower in the world and they can do what they like.”
  6. “It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”
  7. “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
  8. “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
  9. “No single person can liberate a country. You can only liberate a country if you act as a collective.”
  10. “If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don’t ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers.”
  11. “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
  12. On Gandhi: “From his understanding of wealth and poverty came his understanding of labor and capital, which led him to the solution of trusteeship based on the belief that there is no private ownership of capital; it is given in trust for redistribution and equalization. Similarly, while recognizing differential aptitudes and talents, he holds that these are gifts from God to be used for the collective good.”

Like most great men, Mandela was complex and often contradictory.

He had granite determination: without it, he would have left prison years earlier, just by agreeing to government fiat,  or by making some minor concession. Yet he was by nature a compromiser and a conciliator. In the 1950s he would often argue for restraint against more headstrong colleagues, and throughout most of his life he fought to keep his movement, the African National Congress, non-racial, though at times he had reservations about Indians and much stronger feelings about whites. When he came to accept the principle of armed struggle, his strategy was not to seize power by force but rather to make the government negotiate. And when, in turn, the government eventually yielded, Mr Mandela showed neither bitterness nor vindictiveness, but an astonishing capacity for forgiveness and conciliation.

He was a guerrilla, the commander-in-chief of the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, which, as the “Spear of the Nation”, was supposed—however implausibly—to lead an armed insurgency, organise an invasion by sea and bring the government to its knees. It was this commitment to armed struggle that made Margaret Thatcher shun the ANC and dismiss it as “a typical terrorist organisation”. But that was always too simple a view. Chief Albert Luthuli, the president of the ANC from 1952 to 1967, though not a pacifist, was a staunch believer in non-violent resistance, as was Mandela at the outset…




He was a realist leader too and this is proven when…

Mandela changed his mind, insisting at first on sabotage that would involve no casualties. He called it ”Liberation without bloodshed” as a preferred method of armed struggle, rather than direct attacks on people or military targets of the Apartheid regime. When he eventually came round to guerrilla warfare, it was partly because he concluded that the government’s increasing repression left no other way to bring about change, liberty, and democracy.

He famously said this:  “The attacks of the wild beast cannot be averted with only bare hands.”

He embraced ‘Liberation without bloodshed”  type of armed struggle mainly because he feared that the ANC would lose out to more militant rivals — notably the exclusively black Pan Africanist Congress.

So he adjusted his tactics accordingly and eventually won…

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