31 thoughts on “Nelson Mandela”

  1. A true statesman, a man who chose reconciliation over retaliation. Not an angel, not a saint but a man who did far more good in the end than bad. For a national leader, that is something to be proud of indeed.

  2. I do not profess to be an unreserved fan of Mandela, but he was certainly a better man (not leader) than many others who have led African nations, or any other nation for that matter. But I am glad that he has finally gone, not out of personal resentment or anything like that. It is just that his impending death has been going on for too long and the world, as some would have it, has been hanging on with bated breath for such a moment. The ridiculous levels of hype attached to the man and his legacy have shown just how brain-dead, cynical or downright dishonest the world’s liberal leaders, readers and writers are. He was a long way from being perfect and in fact his legacy, the ANC and ANC Youth Leagues are totally corrupt and inefficient organizations and South Africa itself has descended into a crime-ridden cesspit of inequality, injustice and economic decline, that goes way beyond anything that occurred under the apartheid government. Much of South African society exists in a moral vacuum.

    The media circus we have already started to witness will only get worse as the funeral approaches. A friend of mine who is a BBC news producer, says the amount of money, British Taxpayers’ money, that has already been spent by the corporation on ‘Mandela Watch’ would be enough to finance the deficit of a small country. This probably explains why the BBC is showing so many repeats this Christmas season. There is no money for new programs. Now that he has gone, perhaps the media will start to look at countries like South Africa and the people who lead them and show them to be what they are; criminal states run by criminal despots. And maybe there will be some decent programming on the Beeb.

  3. Just heard that the funeral isn’t until a week Saturday. Gawd ‘elp us all although I doubt even the Beeb and other suspects could sustain their mawkish grief-fest at current levels until then. Whatever your personal views on Mandela, a bit of dignity and decorum wouldn’t come amiss from the Establishment and the Fourth Estate at this time.

    I agree with Soutie that the minute’s silence observed by the crowd in Adelaide hit just the right note. Pay your respects and then crack on.


  4. janus :

    Nihil nisi bonum de mortuis. RIP

    I am not sure if I was being chided for my remarks. They were aimed less at the man and more at those who worshiped him.

  5. Sipu :

    janus :

    Nihil nisi bonum de mortuis. RIP

    I am not sure if I was being chided for my remarks. They were aimed less at the man and more at those who worshiped him

    Sipu – You’ve just earned your second AMEN of the morning. 🙂


  6. My condolences to South Africa, and especially to those who knew him personally…

    … but, I really do not think that any death warrants a ‘mawkish grief-fest’

    Thanks Oz for that comment

  7. As it turns out, December 16 (the suggested state funeral day) has forever been a holiday here. It commemorates the battle of Blood River (look it up) we called it the “Day of the vow” (check out what the vow was while you’re googling Blood River) I’ve been to the church, now a museum..

    When the ANC took power here they realised that Dec 16 was one day that they could.not expunge from the history books, they kept our sacred day as a national holiday, changed the name from “Day of the vow” to “Day of reconciliation” I have no problem with that.

    It’s suggested that Mandela’s funeral might well be on this day (the 16th) I applaud the ANC for not insisting on two or three days national mourning, disrupting the economy, and scheduling the funeral for an existing public holiday,

    I have no qualms with Dec 16 being known in future as Nelson Mandela day (the Yanks have there MLK Day) and that in my opinion it would be a fine honour to the man and a gracious acceptance of his contributions from South Africans.

  8. Soutie – Methinks the ANC has missed the opportunity of the century, if not this millennium, by not waiting nine days longer and holding the funeral on Christmas Day, thus giving politicians and “the great and the good” worldwide career-threatening moral dilemmas. “Do I stay or do I go?


  9. More on OZ’s mawkish grief fest. The bloody CBC are outdoing themselves. Morning noon and night.
    Seeing the poor S.O.B. apparently has the attributes of JC himself and was seen to walk on water, I am confidently expecting a resurrection any moment!

    It would be nice to hear, that as a human, he had the occasional human frailties and was quite as capable of being just as unpleasant as the rest of us.

    Perforce I have had to turn the radio off! Not too good vomiting over electricals I am told!

  10. Christina, I have also put all news channels on hold for now. It is well documented that in his early days as a ‘freedom fighter’ mandela was not averse to terrrorist tendencies. It is also unlikely that he could lead the ANC movement without having to express himself in less-than-virtuous ways.

  11. I gather too he was pretty beastly to his family. The oleaginous charm was reserved strictly for the ‘great and the good’!

  12. Soutie :

    As it turns out, December 16 (the suggested state funeral day) has forever been a holiday here. It commemorates the battle of Blood River (look it up) we called it the “Day of the vow” (check out what the vow was while you’re googling Blood River) I’ve been to the church, now a museum..

    Hi Soutie.

    I count myself lucky to have been there myself.

    Blood River Vow

    We had been to Isandwlana and Rorke’s Drift the day before and were heading north to Kruger when the Anglo/Jock SA cousins suggested dropping off to look at the Blood River site as we passed. It was not part of my national mythology but I still found it moving as I read the history.

    Some similarities with NM for me today. At the Uni of Embra, I once marched shoulder to shoulder with Gordon Brown in protest about said Uni’s SA policies. But only because we had been lied to. Our University Court had assured us that they had no investments in South Africa. It turned out that they did have them but that they had hidden them in a holding company. I was young then and that sort of deceit mattered.

    That time apart, I supported the Blessed MT in her assertion that it was better to engage and to encourage change than it was to stigmatise and boycott. Still not convinced that the Anti-Apartheid movement did much more than she did to change things.

    So, NM was just this guy for me. Not delighted that he had spent so long in prison but not prepared to get agitated about him being released. Can’t remember where I was when Auntie Beeb did wall to wall coverage of said release. The afore-mentioned SA cousins were the first people to make me understand what he meant to your country. I didn’t meet anybody in my five weeks there who had a bad word for him.

    And I am now coming around to the view that he was a pretty unique individual who deserves the respect that he is being accorded. We’re talking wall to wall again. I’ve listened to so many tributes from so many ordinary people who met him. All of them stressed his humility and his charm. Extraordinary people as well. Gary Player’s praise was fulsome.

    Either he was different class at dissembling or there was a spark there that deserves to be celebrated and remembered. Only time will tell, of course, but RIP.

  13. Wherever you are in the world right now, do not, repeat, do not turn on ANY news channel. The first of the grief-fests is in full swing. Traipsing behind Bono, I’ve just seen Tony Blair following Naomi Campbell, into the arena. The Mandela family are all there, united, probably for the last time as the domestic sh*tfight starts over the ker-ching.

    As Bob Mugabe slithered into the VIP enclosure, the Sky reporter was asking somebody how they felt about so many world leaders attending.

    Then, as the ceremony was starting, Sky broke to adverts, then cut off an appeal by Save the Children featuring the standard ribby, doe-eyed, fly-blown African kids (who must be millionaires by now on the royalties alone) to return to to coverage of some very glossy and plump “leaders of the world.”

    Pass me the sick bag and a bottle of bleach for my eyes.


  14. I’ve just read that the American delegation arrived late – stuck in traffic! Y’mean, the ceremony didn’t wait for them? Heads will roll.

  15. I’ve changed my mind – if you like a bit of schadenfreude you’ve gotta see this, particularly if you can get the BBC commentary as well. It’s pishing with rain so the the TV feed keeps pixillating, the stadium is not full and those who are there are enjoying themselves by giving the ‘dignitaries’ the bird big style. To get a flavour of the occasion, imagine Gordon Brown trying to give a political speech at Wembley just before kick-off on Cup Final day.


  16. Just popped in and switched on the box. Wall to wall puke inducing bollocks. Just heard Obama quote Tom Cruise (Jerry McGuire) and Robert Burns almost in the same sentence . Meanwhile, the BBC producer friend of mine sent a message this morning saying she is stuck in the CAR (Central African Republic where hundreds of people are being killed by various factions) in a refugee camp. It is too dangerous to go anywhere. There is no food or water. She is waiting to be rescued by the French Foreign Legion. It took a correspondent from CNN who got through to Atlanta head office for them to call the BBC in London to say that one of their journalists was missing. The BBC is so caught up in the orgy of Mandela’s death to know of care what happens to those covering real news.This same individual was there when Mandela got released and got to meet him then.

  17. I felt proud of the show put on today, I felt proud of the fact that in this country we can boo who we like, I thought it cool that the show went on (albeit an hour late) without O’Bama, I’m pleased that it rained, at a funeral that’s a blessing.

    There were people there that I disagree with, and I’m sure there were others there that others disagree with. Did I see O’Bama shake Castro’s hand?

    To be honest I don’t care what my fellow colleagues have to say, I thought that the event was just about what I expected, I’m happy with that.

    And kudu’s to the SABC for streaming it live on Youtube, I thought their coverage spot on.

  18. I have taken your joint strictures to heart. I ain’t turned on a TV, honest guv!
    Sometimes there is a great advantage being 8 hrs behind the rest of you.
    It sounds positively grotesque.
    Good thing it rained, probably damped down the smell and precluded rioting. Can’t imagine rioting in the rain is much fun!

  19. Excuse my cynicism, but I found it strange that the stadium was only half-full; that the biggest boos were reserved for the SA’s own president; that Obama, whose own country shows scant interest in Africa, except for the oil-rich regions, bothered to mention the tyrants still at large around the world (relevance?); that so many dignitaries could display so little dignity during a service to commemorate NM who personified it.

  20. This comment from “Junkie.rock.star” on the DM’s pages might help

    “Interesting persepctive from someone who doesn’t seem to know how we Africans do things. Dignified solemnity is not the way things are done down here… African funerals are occasions of song and dance, and booing Zuma is something Mandela I’m sure would have been smiling about from above. Too much is being made of the empty seats as well. Its a huge stadium, and was 75% full – it was unfortunately a normal working day in South Africa. meaning many couldn’t attend. There were also 150 big screens scatttered around other stadiums for people to attend. All in all I think it was a decent memorial, the real funeral is on Sunday and will more likely be closer to the dignified solemnity that you want.”

    I could add that the attendance was probably affected by the pouring rain, a power failure due to the weather delaying trains and perhaps the hassle of negotiating huge chunks of the cordoned off stadium perimeter with the security checks necessary when that many current and past heads of state gather.

  21. The whole thing had remarkably little coverage on USA TV. PBS, the leftie public service channel, gave it 8 minutes and it was not the lead item.
    CNN treated it only in passing, Washington shenanigans seemed to preoccupy them.
    I don’t think the general football scrum of shouting and carrying on impressed many locals here either.
    Plus four hours of gasbagging must have been quite excruciating.

  22. “The Nelson Mandela foundation has quashed reports that the former president received training from Israeli agents in 1962.

    Media have picked up on a story alleging that in 1962 Nelson Mandela interacted with an Israeli operative in Ethiopia,” the foundation said in a statement.

    “The Nelson Mandela Foundation can confirm that it has not located any evidence in Nelson Mandela’s private archive…..that he interacted with an Israeli operative during his tour of African countries in that year.”

    British national daily newspaper the Guardian website reported on Friday, that Mandela apparently underwent weapons training by Mossad agents in Ethiopia in 1962 without the Israeli secret service knowing his true identity.”


    Apparently Mandela was trained by Algerians and Ethiopians, not that I quite understand what difference it makes who trained him.

  23. Having been trained by Algerians and Ethiopians, it was a pity he wasn’t first on the Iranian Embassy balcony. It would have saved about a gazillion hours of airtime.this month.


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