“I can only say that I felt morally obliged to do what I did.”

“Great anger and violence can never build a nation.”

Nelson Mandela

[I’m trying to see if I can speed up my posts and still have them make sense, so apologies if this fails entirely]

Much like Thatcher, Mandela dies a polarising figure.  It’s just that more people believe he is a saint rather than a devil.  Whatever the truth of the matter (and I wonder lazily whether anything he supposedly did in his MK days was ever the subject of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission), his death leaves South Africa in a moment of decision.

Whether he was a monster or a martyr is not the issue, but whether he will be permitted to die a man or be immortalised as a myth.  I think the latter would be a disaster, regardless of his personal righteousness, for the ANC would (as I believe it currently does) use that status to create a de facto one-party state, with consequences that I think are already apparent.

Mandela must not become the posthumous Geordie Messiah of South Africa.

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