- Nelson Mandela – what did he actually do?
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
teamhurtmore – Member
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).
You seem to think that Mandela was personally responsible for post-Apartheid economic policies in South Africa. Firstly Mandela only served as President of South Africa for 5 out of the 19 years since the end of Apartheid. And secondly ANC policy is not decided by one man, unlike the British Conservative and Labour parties with their grotesque and blatant lack of democracy.
Furthermore many would argue that the single greatest failure of the post-Apartheid era has been the disastrous economic policies which have effectively blocked the redistribution of wealth away from the elite few.
Today South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world, resulting in the predictable levels of violence which inequality creates, and of course the police/state brutality which this in turn creates.
I don’t hold Mandela personally responsible for this, but nor do I congratulate the ANC for their “business friendly” policies.
All of which incidentally is explained very eloquently by former ANC Minister for Intelligence Services and Central Committee member of the SACP, Ronnie Kasrils, in today’s Guardian :Posted 4 years agodamo2576Member
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?
Stupid people so entertainingPosted 4 years agoteamhurtmoreMember
No I do not Ernie. But as I was investing in SA at the time of his release and afterwards, I am well aware of what scare stories were circulating. It’s easy to present doomsday stories for SA, but it manages to overcome many of them. Of course, SA still faces serious problem including inequality, crime etc. Nevertheless, it could/wouldhave been a lot worse especially if the more radical policies had been introduced. I have also managed businesses in SA and tried to accommodate racial quotas to help address the problems. But this was neither easy nor a speedy process despite everyone’s best intentions.
I think it is disingenuous to ignore the role Mandela has played since he officially left office.Posted 4 years ago
I think it is disingenuous to ignore the role Mandela has played since he officially left office.
Who’s ignoring the role Mandela has played since he officially left office ?
I think your claim that Mandela is personally responsible for post-Apartheid economic policies in SA is fanciful. That’s the point I made.
Unless of course I completely misunderstood what you meant by this :
“….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”Posted 4 years ago
Thought it was reasonable question by the op , I opened up this thread expecting to be educated as I must admit I don’t really know either.
Instead there seems to be a load of people calling the op names but not actually able answer the question.
Wiki link for the equally unaware..Posted 4 years ago
Heard of him, seen the pictures, knew students and councils like to name things after him. Knew he was in prison, knew he was a political activist.
Didn’t know if he was in the right place at the right time or the genuine catalyst for positive change. Willing to listen to all opinions, even yours.Posted 4 years agotpbikerMember
I think its a valid question from the OP. Like IanW above, I think his contribution is open for debate, as is the legacy of any politician, revolutionary, visionary etc in history.
That said there is a time and place for such a debate, and given the great man has not yet passed away I think the very first post from Brant sums it up nicely in thats its a fairly classless post.Posted 4 years ago
Seriously IanW, I appreciate what you’re saying, but you can’t expect much beyond an exchange of opinions concerning Mandela. Giving an in-depth analysis of Mandela’s life from his days as the “Black Pimpernel” through his trial, imprisonment, to eventually President of SA, is beyond the scope of a forum.
Although I will, to give as an example of the man, tell you of the speech he made from the dock at the Rivonia trial which lasted more than 4 hours (I bet they regretted asking him if he had anything to say) and concluded with the words :
“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”Posted 4 years agokonabunnyMember
had they gone unpunished where would it have stopped?
You mean, what social ills could have befallen South Africans if Nelson Mandela hadn’t been prosecuted for inciting workers strikes and leaving RSA without permission – the initial offences for which he was convicted in 1962? 😆Posted 4 years agodannyhMember
Was the beardy bloke in the troll photo Eugene Terreblanche? If so, nice double meaning.
No one seriously says that Mandela was a one-man liberation movement. He was chosen as the focal point for the campaign. Others like Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki et al could also have been a focal point, but Mandela had already been named the ‘black pimpernel’ and had some folk popularity and broader appeal.
On release from prison, he unified the ANC factions, prevented civil war and restricted capital flight. He sought to redistribute wealth in a gradual and work related way. He faced down inkatha who were being egged on by the third force. He became a statesman pretty much overnight, despite coaching when he was in Pollsmoor prison.
Not bad for a guy who had been locked up for nearly thirty years. the task he inherited upon release would have buckled 99 out of 100 people. The man is an example of principled politics whilst being adaptable.Posted 4 years ago
The topic ‘Nelson Mandela – what did he actually do?’ is closed to new replies.