Has organised civil society, bound up in internal bureaucracy, in slow, tired processes and donor accountability, become simply another layer of a global system that perpetuates injustice and inequality?
As South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, was laid to rest at his childhood home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, Malawi’s President Joyce Banda told mourners that it was Mandela who taught her how to forgive those who tried to keep her from becoming southern Africa’s first female head of state.
Perhaps it’s a false contradiction. But today there are many who stress the pacifist message with which South Africa’s Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) emerged from prison in 1990, while few put an emphasis on his rebellion against apartheid, including armed rebellion, which landed him in prison.
As the world mourns the passing of South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, his close friend and political stalwart Tokyo Sexwale says much needs to be done to honour his legacy.