What shall we do with a Mandela, probably trained by MOSSAD?


If its propaganda, let it be shown for what it is, if it is our history, how do we deal with it?


This past weekend we are introduced to claims made by some who were part of the MOSSAD, Israel’s Military Intelligence. The claims are  particularly disturbing for some when it is understood how notorious MOSSAD is thus to link it to the belated Icon of 20th and 21st century Nelson Mandela makes it more sensational.




The claim is Mandela aka ‘the Black Pimpernel’ was during his now much-publicised visit to Ethiopia among others trained by MOSSAD. Mandela according to the letter from a MOSSAD official dated October 11, 1962 recalls a conversation in which a trainee in Ethiopia named David Mobasari with country of origin given as Rhodesia was given training in judo, sabotage, and weapons. According to HAARETZ newspaper, which first reported the story, the term “Ethiopians” was probably a code name Israeli MOSSAD agents working in and operative in Ethiopia.




The Nelson Mandela foundation has condemned these claims as baseless and empty in defence informed by the information they preside over, yet its condemning at this stage cannot be conclusive thus we have to ask what does this mean if it remotely can be found truthful?


1. Is this Israel’s belated yet redemptive claim in role and hand in our liberation struggle, because all evidence proves Israel supported apartheid and its ungodly regime to the hilt if the trade and military relations attest?


2. Is this revelation surfacing an attempt at rendering suspicion on the person and identity of Mandela as a sell- out for being trained by what was generally termed the enemy of our freedom? Does it render him a compromised first ‘MK Soldier’ of Umkhonto we Sizwe? What are the direct implications and ramifications if any all for this claim for him in legacy context and description?

3. Who introduced him to MOSSAD, was it a South African ‘comrade’ were it Ethiopian cadres just who brought him into the sphere and realm of a MOSSAD. A MOSSAD who simply do not sit well with the liberation struggle ethos.


4. Does it simply say the ANC received and took help from any corner? Are we to reduce that the ANC as a scarcely resourced organisation at the time was at the mercy of anyone who could lend a hand, whatever that hand was at the time. What does this say about the intelligence work of the ANC at the time, off course it could not in resource and capacity be compared with any of the  state sponsored programmes and initiatives. Can the case of infiltration by anti-revolutionary influences be made as early as this if not earlier in the liberation struggle history?


5. The relevance or irrelevance of this claim equally asks of us questions concerning how this may if proven correct be interpreted to have bearing on an existing diplomacy platform with Israel. What does it say for how we should engage in diplomacy with Israel – if this is true, can we persist to be anti- Israel, as our modern platform dictates in praxis? Do we owe Israel any more or less respect for this?


6. It is noted that South Africa in post – apartheid setting does not share a political stance with Israel on the subject of Palestine. South Africa agrees on the two independent states and a halting of the further settlements of invasion in what is termed Palestinian territory. South Africa also is vocal in rejection of the deplorable context often described as modern apartheid exacted by Israel to its neighbour Palestine.


Yet South Africa is not unique in this stance, another BRICS partner India shares the same political sentiments on Israel and Palestine. Yet India has proven more circumspect and wise to continue its trade agreements with Israel. Are we not shooting ourselves in the proverbial foot with our confirmed all or nothing stance on Israel. Should we not tale a leaf out of India’s approach on diplomacy and ask for what is termed a more economic diplomacy paradigm?


7. Beyond the definitive condemning of Israel’s praxis on its neighbours, and the rhetoric we often fall in, can we afford to be this anti- Israel in our diplomacy praxis? In whose interest is our advanced stance? South Africa has registered a consistent theme of abhorrence towards Israel, evidenced in a UJ resolution, pronouncements from the DIRCO political leadership at various levels and times. We are engaging with China and China has a chequered human rights record, why the ambiguity?


8. Are we too naturally assume the apartheid watchdog – human rights police officer of the World? If we do so is it because we have narrowly interpreted our own apartheid history and thus assume a form of exceptionalism that dictates we out of our history must lead the world. The latter is not a bad ideal, yet that ideal does not live and breathe on its own but co-exists with other aspects that make us a nation that is conscious of a future the same we seek to build with others. If we assume this Apartheid Watchdog of the world, who appointed us, and who is paying us for this?


9. Can we rise above our detesting of this claim regardless to how nauseating it may render us? Can we look beyond the fact that a MOSSAD presents despicable and sober to the reality that the possibility very well might exist that the icon of our liberation struggle was trained by the enemy of the struggle of our freedom. Can we accept this history if it can be proven as truthful. Can we equally reject it with the disdain it deserves if proven a sophism?


10. Is it propaganda, because this news hits us now and has never surfaced before, yet many secrets usually manifests after ones death. If it is propaganda let it be exposed for what it is, yet if it is our history we cannot detox or sanitise it for whatever reason we deem fit in this epoch. If it is aimed at casting aspersions on his character, it would can confirm he is not the first neither the last because our history is replete with claims of a similar kind. Other freedom fighters in their deaths had claims of CIA connections. We think of a Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Stokeley Carmichael even Ghandi at some stage it was speculated were in the pockets of the Agencies such as MOSSAD or CIA etc.




In the final analysis, it is immaterial now if he Mandela was trained or not by MOSSAD. It is immaterial if someone sold him out, it is off less relevance who it is that set him up, liberals or conservatives, it may even be also less valuable who infiltrated the liberation struggle, Mandela is dead and we are politically liberated. The Mandela Foundation as thorny as this may be must accept it too has no conclusive evidence that he Mandela was not trained by MOSSAD.




All the aforementioned is perhaps irrelevant, what is of relevance is how we interpret this for our future, how we deal and engage with this and how this shapes our application of diplomacy when we have become trained to think and articulate in one –dimensional fashion akin to Anti-Israel stance.


If it is true Mandela than in his death as in his life, presents his movement and this government with more curve-balls in pensive reflection demanding a response less in emotion, rhetoric but circumspect conscious of this possibility and congruent with what we have determined his legacy of reconciliation.


It reminds me off the age-old theological question ‘what shall we do with Jesus who is called Christ’? If I may borrow this text and make it relevant here, it must be that this revelation truth or fallacy demands of all of us who loved a Mandela to ask what shall we do with the Black Pimpernel, who was trained probably by Mossad? Can we let him speak to us even if we desire not to listen? Can we afford this piece of history equal space and relevance and learn lessons from such without a bias of shortsightedness.


Perhaps the historical aspects of the revelation does not matter and should not matter at all  because he is dead, and did not let us in on such, perhaps because he did not know, perhaps he may have known and could not deal with that piece thus leaving the puzzle for us to conclude. Maybe he was embarrassed, here he is trying to establish the first military wing of the ANC, and he lacked discernment to know whom he is dealing with?


It does not matter now because he is dead and we are politically liberated, to those who helped enemy and friend thank you.


To South Africans Mandela have many shades; be careful how you interpret him.Is there a place when fiction becomes fact and facts become indifferent?


Clyde N. S. Ramalaine


******Article appears courtesy – ‘Dusty Musings’ Political Commentary Due March 30, 2014







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Is Mandela’s legacy already bastardized, by those who claim to know?

Is Mandela’s legacy already bastardized, by those who claim to know?

          Who told us reconciliation if it benefits ‘whites’ is true reconciliation –


With the passing of Mandela, many are trying to emulate him, which we all agree is our mission and task, yet many misunderstand this emulation. 


I shall attempt to address myself to three groups whom I hold in this season attempts a bastardization of this legacy in various shades.


The first group choose to point fingers at others, in self-righteousness.  They uniquely believe that they have earned the right to speak on behalf of a Madiba in the interest of what he stood for.

The biggest contribution this group makes is to tell others “leaders are fooling themselves in thinking them fooling the masses, if they claim they emulate the espoused values of Nelson Mandela”. I call them the spectators who know how the game is suppose to be played. The referees, the adjudicators self appointed though.


This group claims their association with Mandela in friendship or otherwise have naturally earned them the right of custodianship of his values only in observance not in their personal practice of those values..


Whilst they accuse others in pointing fingers, they err in looking at themselves- they contribute nothing meaningful but to point fingers. It is to them that the young Nandi Mandela rang a warning, “stop pointing fingers”. Pointing out the wrongs through innuendos and veiled accusations helps no one. The sad reality is these have open doors and have never been rejected or denied access to the current ANC leadership yet they prefer to talk to the media and can never face up. 

To those we say you have violated a fundamental principle that governed Mandela’s political life he confronted his compatriots, he did not use a media to speak what was meant be handled internally. Mandela was fearlessly loyal to the movement, and respected its leaders as democratically elected.


The second group include those who misinterpret Mandela as the hero of former Dutch or the Boere who became Afrikaners to denounce a history of apartheid sin and benefit. 


These assume you only practice reconciliation if your efforts benefits “whites”. This group has found spokespersons in the likes Archbishop Tutu, who in recent days decided to speak up, and append his signature and joining the voices against a march of the poor people of the Western Cape by the masses as that, which is a threat to democracy. 


Let us not forget it was the Arch Tutu who pleaded that we desist referring to  Johan Kotze as the Modimolle monster, because God loves him and there is something good in him. Kotze a man who consciously in cold blood killed his stepson amidst the teenager’s pleas. Kotze who orchestrated the violation of his own wife’s sanctity in forcing his workers to rape her. I asked then and I asked now, when did the Archbishop Tutu speak up for a “black” rapist or monster like that? Your guess is as good as mine is, never. 


Not only that, but the Archbishop goes on today and castigate the organizers for not including what he terms Afrikaner Religious Leaders in the programme. For the Arch, this is the highest form reconciliation and something Mandela would have wanted.  


Today also, this group received another voice none other than the Deputy President of the Country Kgalema Motlanthe who tells us the continuous incarceration of Clive Derby- Lewis co-conspirator with Janus Walus who pulled the trigger on Chris Hani on April 10, 1993, torments him. 


The premise for this stance on the part of Motlanthe is to argue if we have moved on, we suppose to make it count in considering his release. 


The challenge I have with the second group is their perpetual misinterpretation of what reconciliation means for them it resonates singularly in the domain of one race group, as benefactor of reconciliation. 


These abdicate and pass over the challenges of reconciliation in African people and consider them not important if not less worthy for such reconciliation. 


I thought the Arch should have asked why Qunu’s people did not see their hero; would Mandela not have wanted that? 


I thought that for Motlanthe the more appropriate question should have been how the continuous imprisonment of AZAPO combatants torments him. If we talk of reconciliation after 20 years what are these former freedom fighters still doing in a prison cell?  There are literally thousands of people languishing in our jails in SA, who had served beyond their 20 year terms who also sick, yet Motlanthe is not tormented by these. Could it be that he next will tell us we must consider releasing Apartheid’s only true prisoners Eugene De Kock and Ferdi Barnard, because Mandela would have done that?


The third group of Mandela legacy constitute those who misinterprets Mandela legacy imminent in rebuking others as hypocrites when they blurt ‘don’t talk about what Mandela stood for, live it in praxis.’


They progress slightly further than pointing fingers because they want to see the values realised. The only problem is they again accuse others and measure them against others like  a Barack Obama.These tell us of how a Barack Obama, who apparently epitomizes in speeches the essence of Madiba captures the essence of what Mandela stood for. 


These are quick to tell others do not talk of the values of Mandela but live them. Yet swayed by the oratory skills and prowess of a lanky son of a Kenyan African father and Irish in decent mother when he in our world favourite accent declares what he did at FNB. 


They hang on his lips, they quote him, yet they do not ask the flaws if not hypocrisy in Obama who has been killing innocent people with his drone attacks. They worship an Obama, who is no example for us of Madiba values when he as an African failed the African’s cause in Compton California and the African in Nairobo in foreign relations context. Yet he found nesting grounds in Irish embrace of welcome and his  ultra – Eurocentric foreign diplomacy in which Africa is left in the valley of yesterday. 


I fail to understand that Mandela is hardly buried a few days and we have these misinterpreted realities of a Mandela legacy. If this is not addressed, we may end up with a bastardisation of this legacy. 


Yet we shall warn those in this epoch who claim an aloofness of knowing, a right in superlative to point fingers and a righteousness of claim devoid of praxis as evident in their own lives, we are not blind, like you we have understood the mosaic of a man called Nelson Mandela.


We shall warn them they will not get away with this bastardization of Mandela legacy. One good thing Tata did he made all feel they were his best friend, clearly these last 10 days confirmed he had many friends thus none can claim a unique superimposed knowledge of Nelson Rolihlala Mandela that they can rebuke others in a form of supremacy.


Clyde N. Ramalaine

Independent observer 


Mandela’ a Legacy of sanitised shades!

Mandela’ a Legacy of sanitised shades!


Mandela our hero and nightmare,

Mandela the victory and the scarecrow,

Mandela in this season in sanitized history

Mandela forced on us today

As our necessary freedom delay


The only “white” spot

In pitch blackness of shame

The iconic one-sided paragon

Where leaders are claimed gone

Mandela the only nice- one!

Just not sure what nice !


Mandela a twisted saga

Mandela a convenient claim

Whitewashed into Sainthood

The beatings stick of Africans

A single man like Atlas

Who had none before?

At least so say those who reinvent him!



If they could make him white

If they could exorcise him from his cradle

If they could rewrite his history – devoid of an ANC stench

If they could call him theirs

In which theirs exclude ours…

If they can… they do



Mandela the myth,

Mandela the agony,

Mandela the horror !

Who, was born in 1994

Got his identity in Springbok rugby jersey

Mandela from a skewed “Invictus”

Mandela the gold coin

His name has made them filthy rich

Those around him star-struck for the Arian race

Be it statute, movie, book, memorabilia etc

Mandela number 6 of Africa’s game of Big 5

As they click away their claim of him being theirs

When his own never could meet him!


Mandela the free-born

Mandela – Apartheid benefactors currency

Mandela, who in ripe age forced to,  

Still slog for narrow white interest

Who must work for them!

Who must protect them?

Against who? If not us?

Mandela the demilitarised zone…

Black man’s yardstick..



If you embrace him as hero

Accept at some point he was a zero


If he ensembles peace

Don’t naysay him as revolutionary


If he is reconciler

Forget not he was among those who founded MK


If you love, his smile and dance

Forget not the Black pimpernel trance


If you make him a morality

Forget not his many flaws

If you celebrate his greatness

Ask who was before him, for he stands in huge shoes


He is a soldier

He is a freedom fighter

He is a defiant soul in hate of apartheid

He is a comrade, less an icon…

He is common less a god!


You can’t whitewash him

You can’t sanitize his past

How long do you think it can last

We won’t let you detox his history

We won’t let  you get away with this lie

For his is ours,

You can’t separate him from us,

He didn’t come from space


He is our hero, but one of many

He is our brother, from many

He is ours not in uniqueness

He is ANC, He is ANC, He ANC,

For he was always ANC!

You  can’t attempt remake him now –

To suit a ‘white’ privilege agenda…


You either accept Mandela in all his shattered shades

Or you reject him in all  your sophistic claims.


Clyde N.S Ramalaine

22/11/2013  5h41pm

Is the ‘worship’ of Madiba by our ‘white’ fellow citizens authentic?

Nelson Mandela a legacy of convenient shades

Rolihlahla Mandela son of Qunu’s hinterland celebrated his 95th birthday recently. This by itself is a mean feat; there is not too many who reach this age anymore. Secondly, it is a mean feat particularly for what he and many others had to endure exemplified in an extended period of inhumane incarceration conditions. It is this very incarceration on Robben – Island and the lime quarry digging that is responsible for his on-going lung condition. Yet we all last week shared in our annual Mandela Day of 67 minutes in commemoration of this giant, the thought to dissect perhaps an aspect of his legacy that comes twisted cannot escape me.

It never fails to surprise me that Nelson Mandela it appears is more endeared by ‘whites’ than any other group that defines the South African population canvas. This strange phenomenon is worth examination. Whilst some will shoot this down as not provable in scientific research, it does not detract from my assertion, which I will endeavour to prove. Mandela became the face of the SA collective political freedom struggle. This freedom fighter, for a very long time a ‘terrorist’ for some, yet for others a guerrilla trained soldier of MK attests to a twisted legacy.

This founder member of the ANC military wing UMKHONTO WE SIZWE, in this epoch has his personal  and political history whitewashed by a need of some to regard him as a saint. Mandela by his own admission never professed sainthood, in fact, he towards the latter years gladly admitted the errors of his judgment in a number of areas be it personal or political, suggesting the iconic status invoked upon Mandela has little to do with Mandela himself but the need of some to ease the conscious.

Mandela adored as an ANC leader who has made his contribution to the organisation its ethos, values and principles. He remains a loyal member of the ANC famed for quipping once he dies, and arrives at the pearly gates of heaven he will firstly ask for where the ANC corner is to register his membership.

My conundrum is as much as Mandela is adored by Africans for being the symbol of the fight for freedom from  Apartheid’s oppression, racism and indignity he is also the much worshipped hero for ‘whites’. When ‘whites’ in South Africa talk of Mandela, there is a spontaneous admiration, almost challenging the intensity and depth of the ‘black’ constituency from whom he hails. Whilst this potentially a moot point, the unpeeling of the factual evidence for this conjoined adoration of Mandela is worth unpacking.

No Afrikaner hero, in 2013 is mentioned in the same breath as Mandela. Hence, it becomes important to ask why? It is my contention that the exact moment for Mandela’s heroism for whites remains dodgy and very speculative.

If ‘blacks’ talk of an admiration of Mandela, it is out of the umwelt of a rich and long history of struggle, yet if ‘whites’ speak of Mandela it is out of the context of a 1995 Rugby World Cup when he donned a number 6  jersey. I think for most Afrikaners Mandela became a hero that day, and in the absence of this day, one may only speculate if he ever was going to hold such venerated position. The truth is Thabo Mbeki our second democratic president also wore this jersey in 2007 yet he is not that hero for Afrikaners.

In my search to know when Mandela became  this hero for ‘whites’ I had to pause and remember that Mandela at the time of the 1994 elections simply did not hold such hallowed presence in the mind of ‘whites’ for his election to power was absent of the ‘white’ constituency of voters.

Despite the extended prison sentence accumulatively accredited as 27 years (the subject of many ‘white’ inspired commercial products), he was not able to convince ‘whites’ that he fought a just cause.

Regardless to his symbolic international status, he was not able to muster the support of South African ‘whites’. Regardless to the historic 1992-1994 period  that set the tone for our first democratic elections, Nelson Mandela remained a figure among many that represented the enemy and a less trustworthy character for ‘whites’. The 1994 election results attests to the fact that Nelson Mandela as the face of the ANC could not eclipse the ANC in the minds of ‘white’ voters for the ANC at the dawn of democracy secured 62,65% of the vote and the now defunct National Party scored 20% of the vote. Hence at the dawn of democracy, who Nelson Mandela was for ‘whites’ was highly questionable  for it did not translate into  an outright majority of ‘white’ votes for the ANC or for him as a person.

Throughout his term in office as president of South Africa, ANC policies were agreed by ANC structures informed by conferences and working group sessions, hence he articulated, and implemented ANC policies and was assessed on implementation of ANC resolutions and manifestos like all ANC Presidents after him.

It appears Nelson Mandela outgrew the ANC in the minds of the ‘white voters’ until the ANC became the antithesis of what Mandela according ‘whites’ stood for. Today it is easy to hear; the ANC has betrayed the values of Nelson Mandela, a common theme thrown around by some who purport to have first- hand knowledge of fact in regard this claim. The interesting thing is ‘whites’ too share this view although we still do not know what it means for them for we cannot naturally assume a congruence of mind  by all those who claim this to be the case. Benefactors of apartheid gladly chorus this song while we still do not know from what platform.

It appears it is Mandela’s personal conviction on reconciliation that defined him as the hero for ‘whites’. This reconciliation a necessary and important aspect of our future nationhood when an apartheid system has dehumanised the majority of SA citizens by racial skin colour definition, was a natural and admirable choice for our first democratic president. We salute Mandela for being brave to work for reconciliation, yet this reconciliation today is questioned  (some of us have questioned it from the start as one underwritten by ‘blacks’) from  many circles in the ‘black’ cohort and it is often colloquially murmured as the proverbial sell-out in which  ‘white’  apartheid privileges and acquisitions were guaranteed in a post- apartheid environment.

It was during Mandela’s era as president that South Africa adopted its much-celebrated constitution. A constitution that has as direct intent the equality of all before the law, the affording of rights for a citizenry understood and underpinned by a humanity of collectiveness less understood in shades of colour definition. Is it possible that perhaps this historic moment of the adoption of our constitution in 1996 became the signpost of the Mandela admiration crossover by ‘whites’?

Yet notwithstanding the fact that Nelson Mandela an elected president was leading the nation at this celebrated occasion overseeing the adoption of our first true constitution, the voting patterns in both national and municipal contexts remained static.

Notwithstanding him having donned the green and gold in 1995, visiting Betsie Verwoerd in Orania, and making many overtures to ‘white’ constituents in a plethora of engagements, the 1999 vote majority for the ANC remained the same when our second democratically elected president Thabo M. Mbeki was elected. Suggesting the Mandela Magic did not necessarily change the voting patterns of ‘white’ voters when it equally confirmed the ‘black’ support.

Perhaps he managed to crawl deep into the hearts of ‘whites’ when he opted not to seek a second term. Whilst constitutionally in his party and country there was nothing wrong with soliciting a second term, he opted not to exercise such right. Is it possible that in an Africa where until then it was commonly accepted that once an African rises to power politically, he would never step down, weighed on the minds of the very ones who never trusted him with their votes.

It is common history now that Mandela, as popular as he was did not seek a second term. In fact, for the better part of the second half of his one term it was comfortably suggested that his Deputy President had taken firm control of the presidency as Mandela spent much energy on a global stage endearing many to our democratic miracle. Nothing wrong with that at all, and again thank you Tata for your contribution in this regard for you continued the tireless work of your predecessor Oliver Reginald Tambo, who was instrumental in giving the ANC an international presence with his addresses and meetings with a cross variety of role players from where the ANC obtained a sympathetic ear.

Did Mandela become this hero par excellence for ‘whites’ when he became the joint Nobel Peace Lauerette? Maybe he did for it could be argued he became the symbol for peace and reconciliation. Yet Chief Albert Luthuli, decorated former President of the ANC attained this as far back as 1960. This renders the role of the Nobel Peace prize awarding to Mandela as not an authentic singular reason for him securing the admiration among the ‘white’ constituency.

Back to my point, just when did Mandela the freedom fighter, ‘terrorist’ , MK soldier, militant, ANC member, the pimpernel, the ‘black’ attorney and leader become the extraordinary hero, icon, saint and who knows what for our ‘white’ South Africans? For it appears his true history is sanitised, eclipsed by a 5 years stint of presidential power, when they did not in the first place trust his organisation, nor him with their vote and continues not to trust the ANC.

It is fair to conclude it appears, Mandela became the hero of ‘whites’ the same who today lecture us despite  never trusting him nor his party with their votes, when he adopted as his mantra a  reconciliation that suited them.

He became a hero par excellence when under his leadership in 1996 SA constitution was adopted effectively ensuring an equality that does not challenge apartheids benefactors.

Mandela became the hero of white- Afrikaners when he donned their Springbok emblem and Green & Gold affirming their sport and embracing its history of racism.

Mandela became the hero and icon when every proverbial Tom, Dick and Harry defined from our SA  ‘whites’  enclave in general could have access to him when ‘blacks’ simply could not.

Mandela became this hero and antithesis of an African leadership when he decided not to stand for a second term for this made him different to other African leaders though the constitution afforded him that privilege.

The aforementioned actions allowed him to eclipse his very organisation, for whom ‘whites’ simply never will have respect regardless to what. South Africa will never have another Mandela and if a Mandela being who is, did what he did could not sway the ‘white’ voters, will anybody ever be able to persuade these voters?

It therefore is no guess to conclude that Mandela is the hero of ‘whites’ and has liberated them at no cost to them, hence he is deserving of this heroism of leadership at the expense of all ANC leaders and presidents. When the ANC is criticised for non – delivery, the criticism often adopts this conclusion that the ANC has done nothing from 1994 – 2013, nothing for its own and nothing for this country. He is their hero, because what he stood for never challenged their position as apartheid benefactors, making it easy for them to see in him this hero.

This analysis inadvertently argues a Mandela Presidency the only period of his life that sensibly defines the epoch in which this ‘white’ admiration was born, entrenched and taken to levels of celestial heights seldom attained by any mortal.

From this warped criticism the ANC stands naked as useless a dishevelled mess that has brought South Africa only turmoil insult and a sense of indignity as it dismally failed in every sphere, this whilst Mandela is a collective hero  completely, exonerated and adored miles apart from this collective responsibility of failed delivery.

Yet Mandela, is and remains at 95 an ANC member, leader and servant who tried to serve to the best  of his God-given capacities, who made many mistakes yet embodies the ‘black’ man’s freedom struggle. Nelson Mandela stands in the tradition of the less celebrated (by whites) Oliver Reginald Tambo and many others who conspicuously remain of paled into oblivion of less significance as depicted by the SA ‘white’ voters as to an undeniable role and purpose in our collective freedom.

Madiba, happy birthday, indeed your legacy has many shades. Yet we celebrate your life, which definitely did not start in 1994 but 95 years ago as a rural Mveso born  country boy  defined as ‘black’ by a system that celebrated a ‘white’ identity. Yes a system that made you Nelson, a system that challenged you to ask why, a system and its benefactors that defined you as ‘kaffir’ yet you made them human. A system that defined you a prisoner by charging you with treason when all you and others did was to declare apartheid a heresy.

Yet Mandela is this icon and demi-god for ‘whites’ because his life guarantees them what they claim a status quo and his death spells a threat to them and their status at all levels, at least the way they believe it. Though this is an unfounded fear rhetoric  it is real for ‘whites’ who keep seeing Mandela as their freedom hero, not sure what the rest of the barbarians, uncivilised, endemically corrupt, bloodthirsty and revenge crazy ‘blacks’ will do once the icon closes his eyes. A legacy of many shades whitewashed in the soap of convenience. For some you cannot be afforded occasion to rest your eyes, because even in old age you must still guarantee their protection from your own

Clyde N. Ramalaine


If Madiba could speak to us today, in SA constituency

– Let us all remind ourselves and quit trying to lecture others from lofty dwellings –

This 94th celebration of Madiba warrants all of us to ask what possibly would his message be to all of us in South Africa. Realizing he is often used and misused by some against others, I thought what would this universal icon possibly say to us South Africans struggling with various shades of self-righteousness and victimhood claims?

Let Tata speak!

If by any means I am celebrated, if by any reason I am remembered, if for whatever cause I am held in high regard and serve as the by- default moral meridian for those who oft has quoted me, referred to me, heralded the values I espouse, the thought I solicit. I am humbled and have never asked for it, nor did I wish for it, yet I understand this less in a myopic self-serving personality iconic worship but in the tireless spirit of those who believe in the oneness of humanity.

At this my 94th, if I may advance an opinion to you who claim to be my children, fellow South Africans, those who lead, and those who struggle. I thought I craft a tiny thought for a few constituencies making up the South African society.


Those in the confines of South Africa, who have made this home a place to prosper and abide.  Know this being human is the highest description anyone may claim, for it was afforded in an equality of creation.  One is not human till one has risen above self, group or race mellifluous construct and confines. We are first human and since that holds, it must be supreme and guide us when we are falsely entrapped by an identity confined to sexuality, religion, colour, tribe, group or race. It is from this conviction of a humanity of equality that we must love, let live and serve. This humanity is a privileged one and demands of all of us to serve and the obligation to serve is not in self interest but in common benefit often less for self but for others who are powerless gripped by whatever holds them down.
You are not black,  Xhosa, white, elite, intellectual, male, worker or boss you are firstly HUMAN.


Regardless to how much you have suffered, you will remain victims of such suffering if you in political power practice the same to others. You cannot afford an arrogance of identity wrought in pain and confined in entitlement. The richness of such tribal definition lays in this that it creates a platform to value others. Upon your shoulders the task is to lead for now, it may not be for always hence be humble in your afforded power. I have reminded you and all that I have fought against white domination I am prepared to fight against black domination.


You cannot claim you are excluded if you have not claimed your right of equal humanity. Do not allow the cheap definitions of apartheid nor the new forms of veiled racism practiced by those who struggled with you define your future rise above a victim mindset and claim your place and space. You are stronger than what you think, more needed then what some want to make out. You have led the first struggles, it’s to you this land belongs demand it, fight for it and claim it in humanity. We share this rich history that former president Mbeki, so eloquently captured in his soliloquy of  our common Africanness.


May you not forget that when we talk of our history it’s not to insult you, nor to keep a barrel to your head, but to keep all including you conscious that there was a an ungodly system called apartheid, which benefitted you grossly and immensely, you supported it. Quit acting as if you are a special race wanting reassurances at every turn. The shame of an Auswich is forever etched and kept in our global memory. So apartheid’s shame and eternal scars we must talk of and equally deplore.  You cannot claim a victimhood you cannot claim a fear, when you ruled by fear and dehumanized others- thus far you have contributed little to national cohesion, you are not more equal than others.

The reconciliation for which I among others are accredited for was not meant as a unique personal initiative for you as a group, but it was and remains for all of us in equality to work for and not just benefit from. Your role is necessary and your place in South Africa remains secured but not one from an afforded unequal space.


You as a tiny group have exerted yourself; you have known how to position yourself at different spaces and places in our chequered history.  You have played a significant role. Yet it must be admitted, you perhaps have as group benefitted the most and the  transformation has worked  for you, the benefits of post- apartheid has blessed you as the per capita income for groups show.   I shall remind you of the Scriptural age old saying “to much has been given much is required“; you have a role to play to help others to equally benefit as you have benefitted.


I am always going to be associated with this Movement,   I have once been asked,  what will happen when I die,  I responded  I shall ask for my  ANC membership in the hereafter at heavens pearly gates. Regardless to how some wanted to separate me from you for their own cheap reasons. I am a loyal member and remain such I was privileged to serve in leadership. Lead this movement, lead the people desists factional self-centred interest leadership. It remains a privilege to serve. Restore the discipline, restore the respect, and restore the honour. Lead this nation in dignity. Save this movement and South Africa whilst you can.  You owe it to yourself to record  a history which you will be proud of  if future generations consider your work. It is not too late, deliver good leadership.


You are only as strong as your delivering of the promises we consistently made.  You are judged on how you have delivered to those who have placed you in such position. Deliver schooling to SA’s children; deliver primary health care in respect of humanity. It must be an insult that children are not in schools; it must be an indictment if books are not delivered before the academic year starts. It must be and indictment that civil society must charge our government in a court of law to compel the delivery of that which the freedom charter and constitution demands.

It is never easy to lead, yet the  obligation of  governing  cannot be marred by corruption, which is not new in this dispensation but also was perhaps in my era as leader prevalent, yet as government you must spare no effort to stem it expose it regardless to who or where it may emanate from.


When we agreed on BEE it was not to empower a few, it was deliberate to ensure that more benefit from the economy. It was not intended to be a special group of people’s inalienable right. You have been benefactors of the new dispensation, yet you have often acted as if this was your right. It remains a shame that BEE empowered ones though wealthy prove stingy, (you know I am a boxing fan, so my example will come from there ) when Baby Jake Matlala had health problems it was ‘white’ counterparts who came to his aid, this is not unique – it cannot be defended that BEE blessed ones, prove this callous, cold and it is said is stingy. You are blessed to amass yet such amassing is not your mandate, empowering others is your obligation for when the challenge of youth is not resolved they will turn to you not as some ‘Malume’ but as an economic enemy.

Lead in empowering others. You owe your wealth to the black masses who is yet to find a job, own a RDP house and have their dignity restored. I am reminded of the words as recorded in biblical pericope “it is more blessed to give then to receive”.


If you claim a wealth it was on the backs of the millions of South Africa who afforded you the opportunity to attain and control the economic power in South Africa. You have given, yet you owe South Africa a contribution that will never stop. The gold and deposits extracted from the communities warrants that you personally get involved to repay those very communities who still finds themselves  in abject poverty, it must be an indictment to have amassed so much and the communities that made you this wealthy are still gripped in such economic disparity. You will never have given enough.


Every democracy needs opposing voices and views that fulfil the role of keeping government accountable. Yet being oppositional for opposition sake is fruitless. Do not be overtaken to prove government as dysfunctional when you have in selfishness misunderstood your role. Be humble to admit it is easier to critique and judge and it would have been equally difficult for you had you been in power.  Continue to be a voice but do not misread you role and reduce it to a cheap politicking, South Africa and it’s multiplicity of challenges warrants a careful and conscious assessment of your role which remains an important role that Government should and can learn from.


The church has always been a critical component of the struggle; it will always have an imperative role to fulfil. Yet church dictates an implicit morality of consciousness in which selflessness is the guiding principle and dictum. Leaders of faith cannot be consumed by a lust for money, power and greed in which a new morality is crafted and advocated of celebrity opulence as the ultimate aim. You must help us again to teach and preach a selflessness, regardless to how difficult it may appear, you  must again teach respect and the values of Ubuntu, the church must again search the landmarks of its faith from where the ancient discipline of humanity is fostered.

The need and privilege to organise the workers and labour is a critical and unique responsibility of the struggle for equality. Yet such need stands not in its own solitude, but is directly linked to a responsibility to admit your conjoined role of stifling our forward moving. You cannot advocate a morality of consciousness if you cannot admit that among others SADTU notwithstanding its great role has often proven irresponsible and robbed our children from the opportunity of learning.


Your role is a much needed one; do not allow yourself to be calibrated to an environment of aloofness when the African child still can’t read calculus in Venda. Your job is not  just to critique but to get your hands dirty. You have a nation to build and your role is necessary. Lead academically, lead intellectually lead responsibly, lead objectively. Learn from the Afrikaner intellectuals who have owned and claimed the space of the academic world and made Afrikaans a forever language when they can teach in mother tongue any subject matter at even tertiary level. Rise above theory realise the implementation in praxis. Learn from this society and formulate from such bedrock.


You are born in a freedom of political definition yet you are not free from the challenges of poverty, inequality and opportunities. The challenges you face are real and must never be scoffed at. Yet you must take your freedom serious, take you education serious, take your health serious, if you die before your time you would have robbed this nation the next generation of leaders across all spheres.  I believe in you and have all confidence that your future is bright but it is never given, it is always demanded. If I may twig the famous words of a the Afrikaner Poet Ingrid Jonker,  ‘the child is not dead, but he/she lives in you”.


Yes I will be the first to admit we have failed you, we have made promises because we did not understand. We firstly owe you an unequivocal apology. Yet now that we know we must say to you keep mobilising and fight for your rights to the basics, being conscious that on your shoulders the responsibilities lay to free yourself from the cudgels of poverty, Government has a role, but you have a role and no man has a future until he/she takes it into his own hands. Take your freedom from poverty in your own hands and do what you can to help yourself. The eradication of poverty and inequality must remain our collective obligation though we know we will never attain in fulness this utopia, it must not stop us to work on it tirelessly.


You have always and continue to fulfill a role, yours is to inform us of what is happening, yet your role is not standing alone in such, but finds meaning in your joint responsibility to find your niche to help build a society in which the common good of a humanity of a South African identity resonates on your platforms.  It is yours to share with us the good the bad and the ugly, so as to constantly remind us who we are, what we must not become and why we should not go down that route.  You like all sectors of society must embrace your responsibility to work for a better South Africa, you will do us collectively a disservice if your abdicate such critical role to be calibrated to an singular dimension inspired by an inhumane sensationalism in which selling your product is all that matter.


You were born into a family that carry this last name, I have been humbled by the many in our globe who have welcomed and celebrated the role I was privileged to play. I was blessed to be the son of my parents. Yet such blessing has not automatically entitled me to any claims. The Mandela name is your right and privilege, the Mandela name is also equally your burden, for which I apologise, yet this name cannot hold an inalienable entitled right of you, in aloofness.

If this name is known, it must be understood in humility as one of many names, and cannot for wrong reasons be elevated to a status that again creates and feeds an aristocracy and proletariat mindset. The ANC has privileged me to lead when I could, I have brought you into this, yet it is our collective duty to desist the culture of entitlement, for we are blessed in many ways, the same many in this great country has not in the least yet shared.

Let us respect the ANC and our fellow South African citizens from a point of humility and quit the afforded grandstanding when we feel aggrieved. We are not the only family who suffered, was abused, was torn apart and made in many cases dysfunctional. My plea is that we walk in humility and respect the privilege us afforded.  The ANC owes us as family nothing it does not owe every family who suffered and associated with freedoms cause.


In conclusion, contrary to popular belief,  I remain very optimistic about our collective future. I have unswerving faith in a humanity that will rise above all odds to produce what this nation needs when it needs it most. I  have  faith in all you fellow South Africans who have made the sacrifices for which oft people like me are celebrated, perhaps wrongly. I have understood your selflessness to afford others like me to serve and at time blush in humility.

I trust you allowed me to speak though I had said I won’t talk again because I am fully convinced you all are capable to lead this nation forward and let me and all others who have become frail in old age be afforded opportunity to rest.

I have chosen to speak to you only because you claim I inspire you, you claim I am your father; you claim my values notwithstanding my many personal shortcomings have consistently been the source of your inspiration. I am no saint, I am no icon, and I am a servant of time and the people I was afforded to meet since I arrived in this world.

If you claim I inspired you  kindly receive these words in humility and quit blaming others for not being like me, for I am not perfect nor without fault but was privileged to serve, if God could afford me a chance to serve notwithstanding my many mistakes, wrong decisions, stubbornness at times selfishness and many other things I am guilty of He equally can give you a chance to serve. Mine is gone, yours is now……

I thank you.

(Mandela not in his own words)