This morning while watching the news which is normally totally boring at that time of the day, I nearly did a double take when the news reader mentioned that some young South African blacks want Nelson Mandela to apologize to them for ‘selling them out’ in 1994 to the whites!
Now I must admit that my knowledge of what happened just prior to 1994 and thereafter doesn’t quite have Nelson Mandela selling out anybody, especially the blacks at the time. Whites were reasonably upset with FW de Klerk and his negotiators for handing over the country to the blacks and many felt that the Nationalist Party had sold out the whites.
I was waiting for the news reader to say that there had been a mistake and that the news item was not true. She could have have said that some ‘third force’ had infiltrated the news room and placed the fictional news report in the hopes of stirring up bad feelings prior to the appeal of Julius Malema which was to happen later in the day. But no such thing! So it seems that the youth really want Nelson Mandela to apologize.
Here we have a person (Nelson Mandela) who is revered throughout the world as a statesman, who managed to avert a civil war in South Africa, and steered the country in the right direction while he was president. He cannot be blamed for what his successors have got up after he left the office of president. But what I found interesting, is that where once upon a time in our rainbow nation, nobody within the ANC, or a black person to be more specific, would even think of of bad mouthing Nelson Mandela. Are there now cracks starting to appear in the black masses which previously vented their anger and frustrations against a white minority which were, and still are, blamed for anything and everything which goes wrong in South Africa?
How deep do these new divisions go? Are we now seeing a generation who no longer consider their leaders, previous and current, as being holy cows that they cannot touch? How far are they willing to go to get their ideologies across to the masses out there? Now that Julius Malema has used up all avenues to be re-instated as youth leader of the ANC, are we going to see these radical youths who have now challenged Nelson Mandela, follow Julius Malema and ripping the rainbow nation apart?
It is just a thought.