Posted: December 6, 2013 in This is the Voice of Lefty Reason

Today’s title says it all really.  Nelson Mandela has died.  Nelson Mandela; Prisoner, Socialist, Freedom Fighter, Inspiration, Leader and Icon.  He, by his own admission, was not without flaws and did not like being held up as a “Saint”, unless, as he said, a Saint is one who makes mistakes but keeps trying to be better.  Incarcerated for decades, he undertook his Long Walk to Freedom in the full knowledge that he could have exacted hideous and swift revenge on his captors and the minority who had beaten him down for so long.  His first words as he emerged were “I can’t believe how many white people have turned up to greet me”.  That one phrase, and his subsequent almost other worldly levels of forgiveness and grace, allowed South Africa to begin the re-building process towards democracy.  The sight of him in a Springbok rugby jersey presenting the World Cup to Francois Pienaar is one of the twentieth century’s most surprising, enduring and uplifting images.  The world is seemingly full of people given the moniker “hero”, often because they can play sport or belt out a tuneful ditty, the word has become overused and has lost some of its meaning; true heroes do not come around very often.  We lost one yesterday.  RIP Madiba.

  1. Mark Barton says:

    Excellent read Tim, couldn’t have put it better.

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