Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Passing of the Great Madiba

The passing of the Great Madiba by Cuan Elgin

It is said to be disrespectful to speak ill of the dead; the presumption being that they are no longer around to defend themselves.

What then does one say of a person who was around for 95 years to defend himself against accusations of being a cunning & deceitful terrorist, responsible for the violent deaths of many innocent South African civilians, both black & white, but yet never did defend himself against these charges in court, pleading guilty thereto, and later even admitting to approving of more terrorist bombings of civilians? He never did renounce violence as a legitimate tool for the overthrow of the state, or apologized to the families of the victims, nor showed any remorse after his early release from a life-sentence in jail.

It is easy to go along with the madding crowd, and eulogize the man, painting him as a glorious freedom fighter, a statesman, a champion of non-racial democracy, a humanitarian, and one of the greatest figures of the age. The fact that he is often depicted as "Africa's Che Guevara" in comparing him to a man who was a sadistic murderer, and who had a very low opinion of African revolutionaries, makes one wonder if those who so admired him, did so through ignorance, or that they hold that "the end justifies the means" in gaining power through violent revolt, or the threat thereof. Some even compared him to Jesus Christ.

It is much harder and less popular to take the other, dissenting view: that he was an unrepentant murderer who brought communism, a sense of entitlement, abortion, pornography, lawlessness and amongst the highest murder, robbery & rape incidence in the world, to South Africa; a formerly conservative, largely law-abiding & orderly country which is, according to many, now unsafe for honest & decent people, and more divided than ever.

For sure, he was a canny showman, a man with the common touch, and he had a sense of occasion. But was he really much more? Some say he was purely an invention of the Liberal Left media and the international communist movement. His biography, his speeches and his widely published sage "sayings" were, by and large, written for him, or merely adaptions of the sayings of other, more original thinkers.

Yet, despite his close friendship with many non-democratic despots, and his thus disingenuous criticism of democratically elected Western leaders, he was feted in the capitals of the world, with receptions befitting an emperor, and will, whether the dissenters like it or not, be an icon of the age, for many years to come.

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