- Nelson Mandela – what did he actually do?
Every now and again, someone comes along who makes you question the whole concept of “freedom of speech.” 😉
The bizarre Monday morning threads continue. I am feeling very left out at missing what was obviously a massive party somewhere last night. Was I the only forum member not invited and still sober this morning?Posted 4 years agojamj1974Subscriber
Does ‘Truth and reconciliation’ mean nothing to you OP….? Despite some serious incidents he was president during a time when one political and social reality became another. Probably the smoothest and most peaceful transition that could be achieved in the circumstances.Posted 4 years agojulianwilsonMember
The rather impressive list on wikipedia of stuff named after Nelson Mandela seems to have left out the Mandela Bar in Leicester University student union (changed its name again in the 90’s to something else) and of course Nelson Mandela House in Only Fools and Horses.Posted 4 years agostilltortoiseSubscriber
I shared a drink (or two) with some township locals in Cape Town some years back. In between the drunken mumbling the over-riding message was that they had little respect for Mandela. Granted it could have been minority views, but it’s stuck with me ever since.Posted 4 years agoohnohesbackMember
As it appears that the Lion of Africa is leaving this life, there will no doubt be retrospectives regarding the struggle against apartheid. So I want to open this debate.
What did Nelson Mandela actually do?
So he spent 27 years in prison for activities that most reasonable people wouldn’t consider criminal, but. Did he go on a hunger strike or a dirty protest as the IRA prisoners did? He might have been a figurehead, but it was the young South Africans boycotting the schools and demonstrating in the streets that did far more to galvanise world opinion against apartheid. Even then, it wasn’t the actions of the ANC that lead to the changes in society, but a shift in the geopolitcal situation.
With the collapse of the communist block there was no longer any risk of a ‘communist’ ANC taking over South Africa, with the risk that South Africa would be used as a base for spreading isurrection throughout the continent, or that Russia would be able to use South African ports to interdict shipping passing around the Horn of Africa.
Wasn’t it in the end the western corporations seeking to stabilise their access to South Africa’s coal and minerals, who quietly spoke the word that some accomadation needed to be made?
So where was Mr Mandela?Posted 4 years agokonabunnyMember
it was the young South Africans boycotting the schools and demonstrating in the streets that did far more to galvanise world opinion against apartheid.
…except that – like most social movements – didn’t happen spontaneously. It happened with direction and instigation of the ANC, the organisation which Mandela led: http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/anc-launches-mass-boycott-bantu-education.
Whether it was a good idea or not is an entirely different question: http://www.nytimes.com/1991/08/07/opinion/07iht-robe.html
You, sir, are a numpty. You are succeeding neither at trolling (the point of trolling is not to get caught trolling) nor at being provocative and daring (you’re just showing that even thirty more seconds on wikipedia would have made you much better informed).Posted 4 years ago
I spent nearly in a year in SA during ’87-88 and can attest that the world was very much a different place then. From my point of view the only non-whites at my school were the groundsmen. No black people lived in my street, or were allowed on the beaches or train carriages I frequented.
Very few of you actually realise how bad it was for black South Africans at that time. Granted, there are still social problems that desperately need to be fixed, but post-Apartheid SA could so easily have become another Zimbabwe, or worse. My school practiced riot drills regularly, there was a grim expectation of an apocalypse in event of revolution there, which thankfully never happened.
It takes a great man to go toe to toe with his former oppressors and forgive them, to acknowledge the past without using it as an excuse to perpetuate further violence and injustice. For me, Mr Mandela is the greatest politician of modern times, while I am saddened at his frail health, I also hope that the example he set us remains for a long time yet.Posted 4 years ago
Nicely put PJM1974. I think it’s worth remembering though, that unlike Zimbabwe, white people in SA were deeply involved at the very highest levels of the anti-Apartheid movement and in the ANC, had this been the case in Zimbabwe reconciliation might have been a little easier there. And popular support for the anti-Apartheid movement among young whites particularly evolved in the final years – when Mandela made that famous long walk from the prison gates upon his release, welcomed by cheering crowds either side of him, he afterwards commented how surprised he had been by the amount of white people present – South Africa was a different country by then to the one which had originally incarcerated him.
EDIT : The National Party which ruled SA throughout the Apartheid era ended up merging with the ANC ! In contrast in Zimbabwe whites and the UK government never fully honoured their obligations under the Lancaster House Agreement, they appeared unconcerned about the future of Zimbabwe preferring instead to wash their hands of it. imoPosted 4 years ago
I think it’s worth remembering though, that unlike Zimbabwe, white people in SA were deeply involved at the very highest levels of the anti-Apartheid movement and in the ANC, had this been the case in Zimbabwe reconciliation might have been a little easier there.
There was also a far more significant dynamic at work in SA at the time. Although we might look back at it being mainly a black/white struggle you need to remember that black South Africans are deeply divided along racial grounds too – more so than English and Afrikaner for example. There was fear of a power struggle between various factions fuelling a civil war. Mandela had to court the Zulu vote even more carefully than the white vote. IIRC there where some thirteen different tribal groups which were broadly and oft insultingly termed “Bantu” by the segregationists, these had separate traditions and languages too.Posted 4 years ago
Well, I’ve never been to Zimbabwe and cannot compare. But ANC and Inkatha were deeply divided and violence at rallies was a massive problem for some considerable time.
On a side topic, my missus has an aunt who dated Chief Buthelezi’s son at one point. He stayed with my missus’s parents a few years back!Posted 4 years agoteamhurtmoreMember
Shona vs Ndebele (I think) Ernie, put together by us colonials! Artificial country drawn up without regard to tribal differences etc. Hardly a recipe for success.
Mandela stands out IMO for two remarkable things: (1) extraordinary forgiveness (OP have you visited Robben Island and imagined how you would feel after being imprisoned there?); (2) his ability to dumbfound the naysayers by ignoring populist politics/economics (unlike many other emerging market leaders) and face the realities and challenge of the global economy (despite the very slow progress this has made for large numbers of his supporters).Posted 4 years agodyna-tiMember
Kind of agree with Drac
Troll post, in that the OP hasnt bothered to reply to any of the posters,counter argument,that kind of thing.
How old is the OP? Many people alive now do not and cannot understand the mentality of those after the 2nd world war. This kind of makes it a non troll post(‘non troll post’??,fk me, im losing it 😯 )
Lets look at least at some of the facts we all know about what goes on amongst the people in a conquered country. (French resistance jumps to mind but would that be different?? one is forced to inquire)
So we have a people who disagree with the new rulers of their country and want them out.
We know the ‘newbies’ have used extreme brutality in its occupation and its highly likely many of its peoples were killed in the futile attempt to defend their country.
Is it so difficult to see that armed insurrection will follow and that the fighters of that force will use all means to drive the invaders out(im thinking Iraq now 😉 )
Some will, be caught, some summarily executed and some will be tried and executed and some will be tried and imprisoned
MrM was in the group that was tried and imprisoned
Eventually the world changed for the slightly better and the invaders left. Mr M is released and the Armed insurrection he was part of realised long before that armed conflict doesnt really do anyone any good in that it destroys the infrastructure of the country. What is left to fight for is in ruins and that though good to have the country back basically means that its somewhere in the stone-age and problems will be insurmountable.
Mr M became a figurehead, a martyr in his own lifetime.Posted 4 years ago
The Invaders knew they couldnt kill him as that could very well cause outrage around the world(leading to more problems) and create a martyr.
Their real problems started when they imprisoned him. If he had been executed we might well have found the struggle would be going on today and Africa would be in the hands of the UKbillybouldersMember
My ex F.I.L. is old school white “Seth Efrican” his views on “the blick” as he puts it when in company,(I will not use the terms he uses in private) are genuinely absolutely shocking; much worse even than the “send ‘m all home” racists we have in this country. How anyone can view every single member of another race as sub-human and fit only to serve him and his ilk, under strict supervision of course (as they are all thieves) is beyond me. I have also been unfortunate enough to meet some of his white South African friends and they seem to be exactly the same. They all also seem to hold Mandela personally responsible for “destroying our way of life” So, even if Nelson Mandela had not been instrumental in bringing this vile culture to an end in my view he deserves all the recognition he gets for the personal anguish he appears to have caused this particular odious little man and his equally abhorrent friends.Posted 4 years agokonabunnyMember
dyna-ti: the apartheid white regime was not an occupying force in the same way that the Nazis in WW2 France or US/UK in Iraq were. That’s nonsense. Your analogy just creates more confusion than clarity.
And as for
If he had been executed we might well have found the struggle would be going on today and Africa would be in the hands of the UK
that’s just bizarre.
Blowing up sub stations and burning crops not criminal?
Well, it was certainly “criminal” in the sense that it was illegal under the South African law of the time. But you’re just highlighting the difference between illegal and immoral, especially in apartheid South Africa.Posted 4 years agorogerthecatMember
tinsy – Member
He is best known for his lovely garden that BBC’s Ground Force installed for him, it was this program that made him a household name.
I think it may have been his routing of the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars.Posted 4 years agoninfanMember
Well, it was certainly “criminal” in the sense that it was illegal under the South African law of the time. But you’re just highlighting the difference between illegal and immoral, especially in apartheid South Africa.
I’d put it to you that its “criminal” under pretty much every political or social regime in the world.
The OP wasn’t about morality, the OP said he served 27 years for “activities that most reasonable people wouldn’t consider criminal” – now, you can argue that they were morally justified in the circumstances, but had they gone unpunished where would it have stopped?
At what point is it acceptable to use violent and destructive tactics in the belief that you’re morally justified? Burning down shops in the name of animal rights? stealing racehorses to extract money for the IRA? flying planes into buildings?Posted 4 years ago
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