A respect to the man who rallied his people
under the spear of his nation
A Eulogy for cde. Nelson Mandela
Leader of African National Congress
and Umkhonto we Sizwe
A respect to the man who rallied his people under the spear of his nation.
These are the words this person had said in regards to Former President Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress, Umkhonto we Sizwe, and its contribution to the struggle of the 20th century. Rallying under a Spear in a sense that he, as an African, was willing to continue his struggle alongside his people despite the challenges he had as a leader of the black majority of South Africa during the Apartheid period.
And of course, most people around the world had praised him for his efforts, particularly using negotiations with then ruling white minority such as Botha and De Klerk paving way for the dismantlement of the policies that brought him to struggle and to prison; while others dare to criticize him simply because he dismantled a system what the minority described as "separate development", yet in fact institutionalizing the rule of the privileged minority over the underdeveloped majority using race as its main idea.
Yet however, it seems that most people did not acknowledge Nelson Mandela also as a man who acknowledge the necessity of armed struggle as a form of national liberation; that he is also a warrior taking the book, the rifle, and the olive branch to justify and advance further the goals why he and his group took seriously in it. Yes, he had led the African National Congress and making it well known by international media, and he even turned his organization from a once group of reformists clamoring for peaceful, reformist means into a force that requires strong political will, including violent means to advance the interest of the African people over the ruling Boer minority.
As according to his speech, entitled "I am prepared to die", he said:
"At the beginning of June 1961, after a long and anxious assessment of the South African situation, I, and some colleagues, came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable, it would be unrealistic and wrong for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the government met our peaceful demands with force."
Furthermore, despite being in prison after his capture, Mandela justifies the actions of his group in steering the emancipation of the African people and the working class over South Africa. He may had been in prison for years, turning down offers of amnesty in exchange for stopping the rebellion of poor, dispossessed South Africans against Apartheid, knowing that his ANC and MK had afford enough to take the deed as part of the struggle, gaining enough victories regardless of what the ruling minority under Vorster, Botha, De Klerk and others trying to curb the so-called "wave of terror", that the "Bantustans", serving as homelands for black majority such as Transkei and KwaZuluNatal had failed to stop the yearning of the majority and its right be treated as coequals, including the right to rule over the country.
As what he said during the trial against him:
"I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
So was in the freedom charter that speaks of equality as part of struggle for emancipation and creation of a society founded by its profound principles:
"We, the people of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:
That South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people."
Yes, and these words somehow showed that despite having African nationalism as his foundation of his ideas and his organization he belonged, he included those of coloureds, Indians as well as whites in the struggle, with the latter known for opposing Apartheid as its state policy; that the South Africa he had dreamed should be based on the will of the people contrary to the rhetorics of Vorewored and his followers; but despite all those words does not mean he had to gave up struggle the way his constituents in the ANC and MK speak of during those times, that the songs of the militant masses supporting him and the movement speaks not just opposing Apartheid but to punish those who behind it, (contrary to the documentary that had equated the term "AmaBhulu" as Whites in general, but rather Boers whom strongly support Apartheid and its racist tendencies.) .
After all, without direct action and instead contenting to a mere pressure such as lobbying, then his struggle and those who took arms be deemed useless. The actions of MK as well as those of the masses, despite having Mandela and some of his followers were in prison or executed, has to justify and advance further their aspirations not just the dismantlement of the old order, as one of his quotes said, made last June 1980:
"Between the anvil of united mass action and the hammer of the armed struggle we shall crush apartheid and white minority racist rule."
After all, contrary to most media descriptions (especially seeing him in prison and negotiating with De Klerk), Mandela is not Gandhi, and if he is, then that peaceful form is not limited to a mere pressure, but disobedience, that one has to counter the truncheon and other repressive actions taken by the system as possible.
In fact, he had also acknowledge class struggle as part of national liberation, knowing that the majority of South Africans are mainly workers, especially miners and factory laborers mostly living in depressed areas and unfair conditions while those who dominate the government and business are consists of the reactionaries within the ruling minority and its lapdogs. The successes of National and Popular Liberation Movements in the African continent somehow brought inspiration for the ANC, MK and other groups to advance forward, to expose and oppose the realities behind the Boer's rhetoric of "Separate Development" and its policies vested, and again be entirely dismantled, if possible (during those times) by force.
So were their revenge songs that still being sung. "Wamshini Wami" as one example of those.
Anyways, in an assessment, would say that Nelson Mandela had speak much of justice than peace. That with his quotes one would see a person different from what was been shown by mainstream media, that he unrepentantly justifies the struggle by all means in order to achieve their aspirations such as justice and equality.
However, his followers may had failed to invoke or practise his aspirations of a society where there lies equal opportunities for everyone, few even know, and afford to criticize that Mandela himself failed to realize his original goals prior to his capture and imprisonment, that he gave up his African socialism for free markets and dictates from the IMF-WB and nowadays seeing some Black South Africans afford to gain material wealth while innocent Boers living in the slums; that crime and discontent increasing due to the failure of its supposed aspirations becoming mere rhetoric being babbled.
And yet ANC and other groups speaks of Equality and Justice not just African Nationalism this writer suppose, it's not like those around Africa who speak much of Black African supremacy as others think of and certain leaders do when it comes to practising its ideas- that somehow made Boers justify Apartheid and describing it as "Separate Development"; after all how come Joe Slovo, Ronnie Kasrils, and some white-skinned ones, Jew, British, even Boer alike afford to join the cause? Anyways, this writer still pays respect, but on the other hand rectify the mistakes that made South Africa still carries a burden of problems.
But again, there's a good hope waiting for the homeland where once ox wagons and kraals coexist; but one out of many has to realize the goal of real development, based on solidarity, communityhood and justice.
Again, under the spear that serves as the standard of the nation.
God bless Africa,
forward the struggle of the oppressed peoples!