Nelson Mandela has become one of the most publicised icons of liberation struggle in modern times, in Africa certainly, but even in Asia and South America. He will be popularly mourned and saluted by millions of people around the world and his passing will no doubt be hailed as the end of an era. Most associate his name with other greats like Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi, but unlike these other patron saints, the ever smiling Mandela didn’t make enough enemies to be assassinated.
Nelson Mandela is to be respected for the part he played in trying to reconcile the inequalities and conflicts between the racial and economic divide that has troubled his country, a process that is nowhere near complete. Despite the veneer of apparent congeniality between black and white South Africans today, careful observation of social and political discourse and private conversations reveal that the racial mistrust and prejudice still runs deeply as ever and the injustices persist. Not that Mandela is to blame for the persistence, it’s just that civil war [that’s what the liberation struggle was] never ends with real forgiveness, justice and love, but always with grudges, bitterness and a lingering wish for revenge after the dust settles; and there’s not much leaders of liberation struggle can do about that.
In reality Nelson Mandela was a created icon of liberation struggle, a creation of the real movers and shakers of the global scene for a larger political agenda. Without the interest and obsession of foreign imperialist powers in South Africa’s massive mineral wealth, Mandela would have been forgotten in his jail [where he served a sentence for treason and terrorism] until the day he died or was released on humanitarian grounds in his twilight years.
Without all those billions of dollars of international sponsorship, fanning the flames of revolution through Mandela’s ANC party, and without the international limelight given to political activists in their frenzied aim of toppling the country and removing the hard-nose, anti-British, Afrikaner government, Nelson would have continued to be the relatively unknown and powerless leader-in-exile of an organization that had been divided and ineffective for decades while Britain controlled his country. It was only after the hard-nose, anti-British, Afrikaner government of South Africa liberated itself from colonial slavery to Britain, and powered itself into the prime position as an independent superpower on the African continent that the mega-powerful military industrial complex of the United States and Great Britain summoned the UN and their European allies to support the struggling ANC party and re-colonize his country.
The hidden motive behind the sanctions for crippling and replacing the independent-minded Afrikaner government of South Africa was the same as the strategy and motive for toppling the governments of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. In South Africa, the real global political players were slowly losing control over international trade and markets in strategic minerals. It was never really known [or admitted] outside the old government intelligence circles in South Africa that control over international trade and markets in strategic minerals strengthens the quest for global dominance. While South Africa was a British colony, that control was securely in the hands of the mega-powerful Anglo-American military industrial complex. But the Afrikaner government [having lost the war of independence against Britain half a century before] was slowly wrestling loose from imperialist control. Another civil war was needed to restore control. This time it was both black against white and black against black – Mandela’s ANC party also fought a relentless and often violent battle for supremacy against the Inkatha Freedom Party of the rival Zulu tribe.
Mainstream media created the myth that Nelson Mandela brought democracy to South Africa. But long after democratic governments had been established by and for European settlers and gradually duplicated for the other ethnic groups in the country, the vast majority of Mandela’s people were still living relatively undisturbed in vast rural areas under the dictatorship of tribal chiefs and their councils of warlords. Nelson Mandela and his ANC party fought for the privilege of taking over the democratic system established by the Europeans. Even today, the tribal chiefs in South Africa retain their authority, rights and privilege by tradition, not as a democratically elected office.
The harm that was done to the country as political violence evolved into a culture of crime and hatred will not be easily undone, not by Nelson Mandela’s ANC party. Given the character and vision of this tenacious man, he would have changed the attitudes of the people if he could. But, as the hard facts and evidence show, he was only a much photographed figurehead and very much sought-after-celebrity, but never any real transforming power. His influence over his followers and enemies was not nearly as great as the media has made out or he would no doubt have created a really great nation out of that troubled region in troubled Africa. In reality, Nelson Mandela’s rainbow republic still struggles to rise from the heap of human misery. It still staggers under the load of an opulent, gold and diamond studded crown of corrupt, super rich, upper-class back and white political supremacists.
Without realizing it, Nelson Mandela had helped his country become another minion of the United States rather than of Britain. The extent to which his organization bowed to its international patrons can be seen from the fact that his was the only government ever to voluntarily dismantle a nuclear weapons program; something established [possibly with help from Israel] as a guarantee of self-preservation by the independent-minded government of the Afrikaner legacy. His ANC party has become the key hired agency in Africa that enables the USA to achieve its unrivalled position in the world today.
Mandela was a man of courage, dignity and grace, ever optimistic and compassionate about his people, but neither he nor his party could fix all the problems created by foreign governments that schemed and plotted, connived and lobbied in their efforts to create enough chaos in the country to bring it to it’s knees and force upon it the status of a gold-plated banana republic. Did Africa’s icon of liberation really improve the lot of indigenous South Africans? Free, indeed, yes, South Africa’s people are free, free to be poor, free to be unemployed, robbed, raped and diseased. Many of his people would say they are definitely NO better off! But now they have their very own patron saint and that will keep them voting for his ANC party as long as his name is engraved upon it.