African leaders urged to embrace Mandela legacy

via African leaders urged to embrace Mandela legacy | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell December 10, 2013

African leaders have been urged to embrace the legacy left behind by South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela, who died in Johannesburg last week.

Dignitaries from across the world, including Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, travelled to South Africa this week where on Tuesday a memorial service was held in Soweto. Among the dignitaries to pay tribute to Mandela was US President Barack Obama, who was cheered and applauded for his moving speech about Madiba and the nation he helped create. Obama also hinted at the failure of other leaders to take on board Mandela’s legacy.

“There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. And there are too many of us who stand on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard,” Obama said.

In stark contrast to the cheers received by Obama, South Africa’s current President, Jacob Zuma, was loudly booed and jeered by his own citizens who attended the memorial. Anton du Plessis, the Deputy Executive Director of the Institute for Security Studies, said the reaction from the South African crowd was a sign of the concern being felt across the country about the threat being posed to Mandela’s legacy.

“We are at a watershed period in South Africa… for many South Africans, Jacob Zuma is seen as the epitome of the problems we have, especially in terms of corruption, which is really in contrast to the legacy Mandela has left behind,” Du Plessis said.

He explained that Mandela’s commitments to human security, good governance, the rule of law and reconciliation, are values that should be embraced and honoured by the rest of Africa.

“We (South Africans) are quite proud of what his legacy means for Africa and for the rest of the world…if you look at his role in Africa it’s an important role, not only in helping solve Africa’s most devastating conflicts, but also in terms of trying to replicate the values he instilled in South africa across the continent,” Du Plessis said.

He continued: “In many ways (Mandela’s death) is a good opportunity for our leaders across Africa to reflect in terms of a replication of Mandela’s ideals and value across the continent.”

Tributes paid by Africa’s leadership have reflected respect for the man, but not necessarily for his values. Mugabe, for example, has previously criticised Mandela’s commitment to reconciliation as being too “saint like.” He said in a condolence message that Mandela was a “champion of the emancipation of the oppressed” and “an unflinching fighter for justice”. Mugabe, who has been in power for 33 years, made no mention of Mandela’s single term in office or his belief in forgiveness and tolerance.

Piers Pigou, the Southern Africa Project Director at the International Crisis Group, said there is a “great deal to be learned from Mandela,” particularly in terms of his “inclusiveness.”

“The Mandela magic broke the cycle of repression, followed by oppression, followed by more repression, by being inclusive. He was able to promote this inclusiveness and pursue an agenda of reconciliation that he said and believed was necessary,” Pigou explained.

He added: “He did this despite these values and opinions not being well received and harshly criticised.”

Pigou meanwhile said that Mandela’s legacy must be wholly embraced by African leaders, saying the Madiba values of ending social and economic strife and valuing human dignity must also be embraced. He said the Mandela legacy “is not just all about reconciliation.

“To embrace the Mandela legacy means to embrace the whole package…the legacy cannot be cherry picked. It is incumbent on African leaders and all citizens to embrace all the issues and values Madiba stood for,” Pigou said.



  • comment-avatar

    Pa rule of law apo manje ndopane nyaya cos kana arisa Bob he believes in mob rule. Do u still remember in 2007/8 when he was sending his war vets to raid shops vosvikoti to e owner or manager dzikisa sugar iite Z$1 billion izvo pamwe inenge iri Z$100b? Vaigona kuita 2hrs mushop vachichaja price yavangofunga kune anenge achitenga. Zvinoita sendiri kunyepa bt ask those who were in Zim that time they will tell u. At 1 time Jaggers Msasa and Makro Mukuvisi was swept clean of all stocks ma war vets dictating prices yangouya mumusoro make time iyoyo. That’s Mugabe for u. It was dubbed operation dzikisa mutengo ende mazuva iwayo ma operation acho aive jahwi

  • comment-avatar
    Washumba 8 years ago

    I don’t think we will ever ever get a cruel leader like this one. This crop of leaders they don’t die. Its made worse by people who think there is no better life after them. Others are going to say dai takaziva……..

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 8 years ago


  • comment-avatar
    Said Omar Ali 8 years ago

    The world has witnessed one hard and undeniable fact; that a leader worth the title does not really need to engorge himself with wealth be it fairly acquired or otherwise, to end honourably.

    Our current leaders have continued to block their ears and blinded their eyes to the plight of their subjects. They are so much preoccupied with power and its trappings and have become master strategists to retain it at all cost.

    The call to emulate Nelson Mandela is just but a slogan to them.

  • comment-avatar
    Charlie Cochrane 8 years ago

    Ssid Omar Ali………step 1 to emancipation………STOPsayimg ‘leaders and subjects’, you are NOT the ‘subjects’ of these dogs! The term is ‘fellow citizens’……….free your minds before you start to take to the streets.
    mugabe is and wasbjust a surly, sulky herd boy, despised by his peers and, like all bullies, vicious in terms of retribution.but in the end he is just a weak, gutless and possibly homosexual human……..he is NO Nelson Mandela!

  • comment-avatar
    Nimrod Mupanesengende 8 years ago

    The writing was all on the wall for imperialists to see. Zuma was booed yet Mugabe was cheered because South Africans were saying Zuma should emulate Mugabe, not Mandela. South Africa needs a Mugabe for its next president, not a Mandela. That message was clear and made abandantly clear at the memorial service gathering. The west is wasting time calling on African leaders to emulate Mandela. Any leader who does that will sign his own political death warrant. The mood in Africa is that people no longer want to remain beggers on golden chairs. Mandela’s leadership qualities are sickening in that they enriched foreigners and empoverished his own people. If that is what the west want perpetuated then they have a rude awakening coming. There will never be another Mandela in Africa. Just wait and see. South Africa will soon explode and scatter all imperial interests far and beyond.

  • comment-avatar
    Maxwell Chakomoka 8 years ago

    It took only 5 years for Madiba to unite the people of South Africa, and it’s taking for ever my president to destroy it.

  • comment-avatar

    Good morning Nimrod. I see you still have all that bitterness in your heart. Well I am still praying for you. The bible tells us that by their fruit we shall know them. Which fruit did we see in Mandela and which fruit do we see in Zimbabwe. It sure isn’t Godly fruit! It is better that not one of us puts our trust in any man except in Jesus Christ Himself. Do you really want to see SA explode? I don’t. The ANC have already had 20 years and so please tell me why is there still so much poverty?? I wonder. Like us. we have had self rule for 34 years???? And so what now, does poverty have to do with colonial/imperialism or whatever. We took all the farms, businesses and other property and look where we are now. Couldn’t we have done it another way? A way that would have built our nation?

  • comment-avatar
    Murimi wanhasi 8 years ago

    Nimrod u r spot on.I wldnt be that harsh on Madiba tho;he was just soft.
    S.A needs a Mugabe
    30 yrs from now;they will be calling Malema a visionary.Mark my words

  • comment-avatar
    Murimi wanhasi 8 years ago

    NBS .The fruits are that we have OUR land.Remember the promise to Abraham was about Real Estate.Now we r stayin in houses we did not build and harvestin fields we did not plant.Just like in the bible

  • comment-avatar
    nyati 8 years ago

    Murimi wanhasi: Do not add nor subtract anything from the word of God. Tamba nezvimwe kwete shoko raMwari. Ane nzeve dzekunzwa ngaanzwe. Read The whole book of Revelation.

    • comment-avatar
      B.Mathe 8 years ago


  • comment-avatar
    ZUNDE 8 years ago

    At least someone must tell Mugabe the truth. But must it be a foreigner. Yes is can be but it would be louder and more effective if we Zimbabweans demand change. Visit and add your voice.

  • comment-avatar
    Kubota Binga 8 years ago

    ‘Rousing applause’ for Mugabe at Mandela memorial
    2013-12-11 08:42

    Pin It

    President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace arrive in for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. (Carien du Plessis via Twitter)

    Multimedia · User Galleries · News in Pictures
    Send us your pictures · Send us your stories

    Special Report
    Mugabe ‘needs prayers’
    Former Zimbabwean PM and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has taken a swipe at President Robert Mugabe, saying the veteran leader is “losing it” and that he needs payers.

    Zim minister ‘raps Mandela comparisons’
    Mugabe arrives for Mandela memorial service
    Was Mugabe jealous of Mandela’s popularity?
    Mandela was Africa’s fatherly figure, Zimbabweans say

    Cape Town – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe received a thunderous applause from thousands of people who thronged the FNB Stadium in Soweto to bid farewell to former South African leader Nelson Mandela.

    Mandela died at his Houghton home in Johannesburg last week. He was 95.

    According to Herald, Mugabe who was accompanied by his wife Grace and children, received a “rapturous welcome” from the crowd following the announcement by the Master of Ceremonies, ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa that he was among the dignitaries.

    Mugabe’s image was promptly beamed on the giant screens in the stadium drawing wild applause, cheers and blasts of vuvuzelas from the crowd that had earlier on jeered host President Jacob Zuma, said the report.

    Mugabe responded by smiling and waving to the crowd.

    The other leaders who received similar acclaim were former South African president Thabo Mbeki, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and US president Barack Obama.

    The event was attended by leaders from over 90 countries.

    I copied from somewhere,….stole of course

    • comment-avatar
      Mthwakazi 8 years ago

      @Kubota Binga

      The so-called applause or cheering of Mugabe by Black South Africans whenever he visits Mzansi needs to be understood in context.

      If you comapre and contrast Zim and South African politics; you will see that in Zim, the politics has now become a Black vs Black type of politics; Whilst in South Africa its still largely a Black vs White.

      This is due to the fact that Zimbabwe has been under black rule for much longer and over the years many whites left the country and those who remained have become politically irrelevant. On the other hand South Africa has historically had a much larger population of whites than Zimbabwe – about 6 million of them.

      So, the issue of whites is still a very sore point in South Africa than it is in Zim. Because Mugabe is seen in South Africa as someone who does not hesitate fighting Whites/the West, he is therefore seen as a hero by most South Africans, and yet to many Zimbabweans, he is an oppressor. This is the reason why he is always applauded.

      South Africans find themselves at the crossroads and are confused. They applaud Mugabe for the reasons I have stated, but at the same time dont want Zimbabweans in their country. They cannot link Mugabe’s actions against whites; and educated middle class blacks to the present circumstances that drive Zimbabweans into their own country.

      They also dont want to get rid of whites in the same manner Mugabe has done in Zimbabwe as they dont want to be like Zimbabwe. They are a totally confused lot!!