Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Does the ANC "own" Nelson Mandela?

Our independent news channel, eNews, asked Helen Zille, the leader of the Democratic Alliance party, about the future of the DA in the 2014 elections. She responded in fairly typical fashion: articulate, straight talking and to the point, unlike her counterpart Gwede Mantashe, who rambled on in his usual bumbling fashion. But then it's hardly surprising, given that Gwede Mantashe is the Secretary General of the ANC and the chairperson of the South African Communist Party. It's tough wearing two different political hats, and trying to sound reasonable, all at the same time.
So when Helen Zille said that the DA is "... the Party that has moved into the vacuum left by the ANC when they abandoned the values of Nelson Mandela", Mantashe overdid himself in manufactured outrage. He even forgot that Helen Suzman died in 2009. The sad truth is that the ANC has abandoned the values of Nelson Mandela, in favour of self-interest, nepotism, corruption, populism and lying to the public. They don't care about the poor or the oppressed. They just want their vote, but can't get their ducks in a row to deliver basic services. They'd rather build soccer stadiums than hospitals.
They have been accused of arrogance by putting up re-election posters along potholed streets littered with uncollected garbage. I say they are arrogant to presume to say they "own" Nelson Mandela, a man who "belongs" to the planet, not to mention the nation. From the day he became president he rose above party politics, something Mantashe and his colleagues are incapable of doing.
Update 29 May: The Sunday Times has published an article on this topic too: "Mandela Belongs to all" by Mamphela Ramphele.
Technical note: I used Media Cope to edit this video to a suitable length. My wife recorded it using a LG DVR, and then I used Clone DVD mobile to turn the DVD recording to a media file that could be edited by Media Cope before uploading. I use the Slysoft AnyDVD and Clone DVD Mobile programs to convert all the DVDs I purchase into .avi files, which I store on a hard drive for backups. Then I can watch the movies on my laptop without scratching the DVDs.

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