South Africa and the World Remember Nelson Mandela

It does not seem that it was a year ago that South Africans danced and sang in the streets all night to remember the life of Nelson Mandela, the man who liberated them from the scourge of racial oppression.

They did not mourn the 95-year-old’s death —instead they rejoiced that Madiba (Mandela’s clan name) had saved them from a potential racial bloodbath.

Yet despite this sense of unity, there were many, especially white South Africans, who were visibly worried that the man they regarded as the insurer of a peaceful future had gone too soon and had left them exposed.

They feared his departure opened up a door for the angry poor Black masses to destroy their comfortable lives.

However, 12 months have passed since he died and life continues as normal.

In an attempt to try and understand how the Mandela dynasty is feeling one year on, I spoke to Madiba’s first grandchild from his eldest son Thembekile.

We met Ndileka Mandela in Soweto at her grandfather’s old home now turned a museum.

As we walked around she told me that South Africa is at peace with itself.

When I said many people had thought that when Mandela went South Africa would go up in flames, she replied with a smile: “Even a year after he’s gone peace still prevails.

“People are still upholding his legacy and what he stood for because he stood for peace and reconciliation.”

This, of course, does not mean that all is well in the land of Nelson Mandela.

This week, a survey, appropriately named South African Reconciliation Barometer, showed that about 24 percent of those questioned felt apartheid was not a crime—with nearly half of white people surveyed agreeing with the statement.

When the survey was first conducted in 2003, 86 percent of South Africans agreed that apartheid was a crime.



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