• Spike

    It’s complicated. Metaphor is a key component to collective mythology in South Africa. Instead of saying “Stop Racism”, freedom songs say “Kill the Boer”. This activist appears to be saying, “Kill the silly myth that makes Mandela God. Bring him back down to mortal stature”. Either way, even if he really is saying Mandela should ‘die’, to paraphrase the “right to say it” line by Voltaire (notwithstanding the dispute whether he actually said it), I fiercely disagree with his silly viewpoint, BUT it is a refreshing indication of how far we have come as a democracy in South Africa.

    There are many people in South Africa, black and white, who see Madiba as a man – fallible, human and flawed – despite our collective deification of him as an icon of all that is good in the world. But he had weaknesses as a politician. He was stubborn, was not proactive enough in fighting the growing AIDs threat, did not deal with Mugabe, etc etc, etc. But so what.

    We reserve the right to think what we like, and that feels good, God or Man.dela.

    • Michael May

      Thanks for your comment. And very insightful. The fact that South Africans are having a debate about Mandela’s flaws is a sign of a healthy democracy. And also gives credit to Mandela’s leadership, he didn’t become the type of strongman that punishes dissent, unlike, say, Mugabe.