Our Readers' Opinions
December 17, 2013
Lessons from the late Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela

Tue Dec 17, 2013

Editor: The late Nelson Mandela is regarded by many as one of the greatest leaders of all times. However, we know he was not perfect. But we have to agree he made a difference and achieved much while he was president of South Africa.{{more}}

Nevertheless, there are two very important lessons we can learn about the life of Mandela as president of South Africa. As president, he was able to unite South Africa in terms of race. Previous to his ascension to the presidency, he was imprisoned because of his fight against racial discrimination. To his credit and admiration, when he was released he sought to unite South Africa and had a broad based government with both blacks and whites.

This speaks volume of his greatness. He could have, upon his release from prison, sought revenge of those who imprisoned him, and also sought to discriminate against the whites and ensure that only blacks were recognized. But Mandela never sought to put black against white; instead he sought to unite both blacks and whites as one people, indeed a good lesson to learn.

We are so divided in this country along political lines, and frankly speaking, it looks as though this would remain with us for many years to come. We need to see each other as equal, regardless of political persuasion and politicians and citizens alike need to unite as one people.

Also another lesson to be learnt from this great man was his love for everyone and his forgiveness to those who imprisoned him. Indeed, he was a man of love. He represented and loved all.

We truly need men in leadership positions who would demonstrate such good character. We need politicians who would not encourage persons to take revenge on those who do not support their party. We need politicians who would unite us by demonstrating love and forgiveness.

As people of this nation, we also need to put aside our political hatred and love one another. We need a new era in politics where we embrace one another. It must start at the top and they must let their followers do likewise. Indeed, let us honour the memory of this great man by putting into practice what he achieved in terms of unity, love and forgiveness.

Kennard King