Mandela and the African liberation struggle

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Those who branded Mandela as a terrorist are now seeking to programme the minds of the youth to see him as some sort of messiah,without links to real struggles for peace.But Mandela was very clear that his life was linked to the collective struggles of humans everywhere writes,HORACE G.CAMPBELL

On Thursday December 5, 2013 the people of South Africa lost one of the foremost freedom fighters and revolutionaries who made his mark on humans everywhere. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in South Africa in 1918 and matured as Africans in South Africa rose to the challenges posed by the most brutal social and economic system of that moment, the system called apartheid. Mandela has now joined the ancestors and he has left his mark beside those great humans (such as Mahatmas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Umm Kulthum, Che Guevara and Rosa Luxemburg) whose greatness emerged from the movements that created them. The forms of struggle that emerged from South Africa inspired the refinement of the philosophy of Ubuntu. This is a philosophy that says one’s humanity is enriched by another’s and that as humans we are linked to a wider universe and spiritual world. Mandela had said clearly of Ubuntu, “The spirit of Ubuntu – that profound Africa sense that we are human beings only through the humanity of other human beings – is not a parochial phenomenon, but has added globally to our common search for a better world.”

The philosophy of Ubuntu challenged the ideals of individualism, greed, unhealthy competition, obscene self-enrichment and those destructive forms of human association that have brought the planet to the brink of extinction. When the movement elevated Nelson Mandela to the position as president of a politically free South Africa in 1994, after 27 years of incarceration, the political leadership of South Africa sought to give practical meaning to the philosophy of Ubuntu by establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). In all parts of the world, the international media remember Mandela and his contributions to peace and reconciliation but the same corporate media seeks to confuse the youth by marketing Mandela as an unusual individual who performed the ‘miracle’ of ending apartheid. In the process of the wall to wall media coverage of the celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela, it is important that the voice of Africa is clear on the meaning of Mandela. Mandela was against racism and the dehumanising social system that created hierarchies.

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In the 2014 General Election, women who stood for parliamentary elections were a mere 17 out of a total of 192 aspirants, and sadly the number dropped to 11 out of 210 parliamentary aspirants in the 2019 General Election. Hopefully, registration of the Women in Politics Caucus will give women the necessary support to join politics. While things were slowly improving, women for a long time were at the receiving end as compared to their male...

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