Mandela: Ceasefire or settlement?


WHENEVER whites exercise their authority over a people they unfairly rule, they always look for something to justify their dominance.
And one instrument which they have always readily found available is none other than religion and the Holy Bible.
To justify their suppression of blacks, when the Afrikaners settled in South Africa, they quickly likened themselves to the Israelites when they invaded Canaan from Egypt.
In Joshua 9:23, Joshua tells his captives: “Now therefore, you are cursed and you shall never cease being slaves, both hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.”
When the National Party (NP) came to power in South Africa in 1948, it started to institutionalise segregation under the notorious apartheid ideology.
Africans were moved to separate areas called Bantustans where they were not allowed to mix with other races.
Separation had to be total, with Bantustans placed in remote areas.
They quickly degenerated into areas plagued by poverty and hopelessness.
Wealth, good land and governance were a preserve of the whites.
Referring to blacks vis-a-vis apartheid, this is what one of its chief architects had to say: “There is no place for him in the European community above the levels of certain forms of labour.”
Compare with Joshua 9:23.
All forms of social integration were banned, with marriage of separate races considered anathema.
All sorts of laws to cement segregation like the Group Areas Act, Reservation of Separate Amenities Act and Population Registration Act, among others, were passed.
Treatment of blacks became intolerable.
After the accession of the NP and its head-in-the sand determination to suppress blacks, radicalisation of black nationalism became inevitable.
Quickly were gone the days of dialogue in search of ameliorative form.
The dismantling of apartheid both economically and politically became non-negotiable.
The spirit and goals of the nationalists were summed up in The Freedom Charter which emphasised the need for equitable distribution of wealth
This was the collective will of the people, with leaders like Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu considered to be the embodiment of the people’s will.
Thus the formation of Umkhonto weSizwe (the military wing of the ANC) was a natural sequel in confronting the apartheid regime.
And there was no better choice of the first commander-in-chief than the brave heavyweight boxer and also lawyer — Nelson Mandela.
Mandela and other ANC members were soon arrested and charged with treason.
In the dock, Mandela reassured the country that he would not waver in his fight for equality, even if it meant death.
We are never so sure what happened to Mandela during his 27 years of imprisonment.
But for some strange reason, the trusted politician reneged on both his pledges vis-a-vis The Freedom Charter and his assurance in the dock.
Mandela seemed to have been more concerned with political freedom, only as far as this secured his freedom
The settlement brought peace with one-person-one-vote but nothing else.
The minerals, land, vital institutions like the judiciary are all still under the control of people whose mindset is steeped in apartheid ideology.
We would be tempted to cheer Mandela if his mission was to negotiate a ceasefire.
However, we will find it very difficult to defend him against those who claim he sold the revolution to white capital.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here