Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ron Radosh

If you don’t trust Williams’ account, read the frank article in TNR by reporter Eve Fairbanks, who lives in and reports from South Africa. While the media at Tuesday’s memorial report on how everyone in South Africa loves Mandela and what he did for them, Fairbanks reports the truth:

People are deeply, deeply disillusioned with the leaders who’ve followed Mandela, both official African National Congress politicians and emotional leaders like Mandela’s offspring. Mandela’s relatives seem to have bucked his example entirely; some have banked millions in mining, an industry against which the apartheid-era ANC railed against as the heart of South Africa’s satanic injustice, while others have cashed in with a reality TV show. The allegations against the politicians in actual office are more troubling. The country’s second democratically-elected president, Thabo Mbeki, was bitterly criticized for denying South Africa’s AIDS epidemic. Mbeki’s successor, President Jacob Zuma, was prosecuted for both rape and racketeering; he was acquitted of the former, and the latter charges were dropped on technicalities, but recently a huge scandal around taxpayer-funded upgrades to his massive home dominated the papers until Mandela’s—for Zuma, very propitiously timed—death. Daily, the whole black political class is accused in the media of corruption in the awarding of government contracts and greed in treating itself to swanky vacations and flashy vehicles. “They were heroes,” one of the students standing beside me on the police line mused grimly, “but then they started buying cars.” As they buy cars, economic growth has slowed, basic education has fallen into disrepair, and inequality has deepened. This fall, The Economist concluded in a cover package pessimistically titled “Cry, the Beloved Country” that South Africa “is on the slide both economically and politically” and that the ANC’s “incompetence and outright corruption are the main causes.”

Fairbanks dares, in a liberal publication, to point out what you will not hear on TV and radio by the mainstream press, and asks this tough question: “Great leadership involves building a political culture that mirrors your virtues. Can a leader truly be considered great if those who come right on his heels are terrible?” Praising Mandela for honesty himself in the post-apartheid government, she nevertheless concludes that “Mandela didn’t do enough to actively establish a culture of honesty, selflessness, and good conduct in the government he founded.” She adds that  Mandela also “vigorously defended an ANC leader named Allan Boesak who was accused of embezzlement, even directing his Minister of Justice to make a speech supporting Boesak. (Boesak was soon convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.)”

You wouldn’t know much of that by our media reports, which celebrate Mandela as if he was a saint, and which really amount to self-glorification and their desire to identify with the old opponents of apartheid. So Kudos to Eve Fairbanks for her courage in daring to spoil the party by telling some of the uncomfortable truths the regular media does not let anyone know about.

Yes, Nelson Mandela deserves credit for helping South Africa avoid a civil war, for not creating an all-black racist government, and for creation of a commission that allowed those who had engaged in unconscionable acts to atone for their crimes and that created the structure that allowed the society to move on. One must also remember that the collapse of the Soviet Union — its main benefactor — did a lot to prevent the country from becoming an African version of the old Stalinist state. With the Soviets not around to back them into becoming another “people’s democracy,” there really was no option around but to allow capitalism to continue.

Yet if one takes the case of its most likely next president — Cyril Ramaphosa — one can see the corruption that allowed the former left-wing socialist union leader to become one of the wealthiest businessmen in the country. As in Russia after the fall, where the former Communists grabbed the wealth of the nation for themselves, leading ANC and Communist leaders did the same in South Africa.

In 2012, the ANC directed police to shoot down striking mine workers in cold blood — something that the ANC in the years of the “liberation struggle” would have never tolerated from the apartheid regime. Thirty-four miners were shot in the back and killed, and 78 others were seriously injured. Ramaphosa, the former head of the mineworkers union, called the strikers guilty of “dastardly criminal conduct.”  He is widely regarded as the man who was responsible for the police response to the strike. When ANC leaders now own the mines, they have a different set of standards.

In honoring Nelson Mandela, let us not forget his easily discovered “dark side.” To ignore it is to fail to understand why South Africa is in such trouble today.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage created using multiple Shutterstock.com images.)

<- Prev  Page 3 of 3   View as Single Page

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Greetings:

I would back a bit farther up the track and ask "What is it with Africa ?" 60 years after the end of its Euro-colonization, it's still pretty much of a mess, north to south, east to west, especially compared to, say, South Korea, which had its own very interesting 20th Century, and yet has prospered through to a reasonable democratic state. It very much seems to me that tribalism and Islamism are not healthy environments for children and countries.

Bottom line, it sure makes a guy wonder what Africa would be like today if the Europeans had never shown up.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Truth and Communism are permanently divorced.

If you can idolize and scrub clean Che Guevara...Mandela is easy.

Obama would gladly push America down the rabbit hole into corruption and chaos, and which of his closest mentors, advisors, father figures and his father...would do anything other than praise him for it?

The "Party"...a communist front formerly known as Democrats, the Pravda...formerly known as the free press and "the People", formerly known as the Protest Counterculture...are in bliss at America being punished, Israel being whipsawed and Communism being VOTED IN to destroy free market Constitutional self-governance.

Obama is teaching his large c brethren that you don't need to fire a shot. You first destroy the ability of the people to get the truth, you turn EVERY "news" item into propaganda. You guilt trip the dim and the dull...making the useful idiots do all the heavy lifting. And...you lie your ass off.

You can spy on them, steal their money, take away their healthcare...and EVERY time they even peep in protest...you call them racist and greedy and uncaring about "the poor" and "people of color". They will sit down, shut up and tremble in the corner.

It doesn't matter that it is not true. In fact, that's the delicious irony of it. A country willing to elect Obama is the easiest one to destroy.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Radosh;

Nelson Mandela's true nature was airbrushed out of the media picture decades ago.
Like Soviet Stalinists and the Chinese Maoists,(and I suspect like Obama today), the media apparat simply have too much emotional investment in the idol that they created to ever see the truth about the man at its core.

The RSA is a nation-sized Detroit today simply because the RSA was ALWAYS a European colonial construct, like Rhodesia and Kenya before it, and once the power of the European colonialists was betrayed, the entire framework of a nation-state, alien to native African mentalities, evaporated.

They don't "do" nations in Africa, they do tribes. What has held the RSA together this long is that a significant amount of the White colonists stayed behind and they have the horrific example of Zimbabwe right next door, where people are basically starving to death in the middle of a fully-stocked grocery store.

I wouldn't invest my own money in South African real estate.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (20)
All Comments   (20)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"Acknowledging that Mandela was probably both a Party member as well as on its ruling Central Committee, Keller....asked a simple question: “Does it matter?”

I can't help but wonder what the public reaction to a major newspaper asking if the fact that a politician had been involved with Nazis "Does it matter?" would be.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Bottom line, it sure makes a guy wonder what Africa would be like today if the Europeans had never shown up."

Dysfunctional, corrupt and utterly incompetent.
On it's best days, Somalia. On it's worst, Rwanda circa 1994.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Because despotism is really hard work. And boy, is it ever expensive! You have to pay the jackboots to jackboot their friends, neighbors, and families, otherwise, they'll overthrow you, too. Mandela did not have that kind financing.
"One must also remember that the collapse of the Soviet Union — its main benefactor — did a lot to prevent the country from becoming an African version of the old Stalinist state. With the Soviets not around to back them into becoming another “people’s democracy,” there really was no option around but to allow capitalism to continue."

Brilliant point.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Except that Hugo Chavez showed us that you CAN still attempt to create Communist states even without the Soviet Union to back you financially. Chavez and his successor have certainly made a strong start in that direction.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is by far the best piece I've read on the issue to date. The scattered pieces of Mendela's "legacy" are so thoughtfully connected, I'm recommending this to everyone I know.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nuance aside, name the one oppressive regime, with an unlimited-dictator-for-life (h/t Calvin and Hobbes), which in one swell foop transformed itself into a liberal (small "l" of course) democracy overnight. Just one...

When you're done contemplating that, consider this: if Mandela was the Communist that you folks all think he was, why didn't he execute his political opponents, close down the opposition newspapers, and nationalize private industry?

As for criticism of Mandela's actions during the height of the ANC's opposition to Apartheid in South Africa: it's easy to criticize him after the fact. At the time, the regime was incredibly violent, and repugnantly racist. Who else was going to help him struggle against the Boers? The undercurrent of the article that I get is that Apartheid wasn't that bad, if the opposition was Communists, and blacks should have either opposed it non-violently (and fruitlessly gone to prison or been executed for their trouble) or not opposed Apartheid at all, just sucked it up and accepted white superiority, if the alternative was allying with Communists. That's a nice attitude for someone to take, 50 years on and a continent away. Not to touch a nerve here, but some Jews allied with Communists during the '30s and '40s while opposing Hitler, because they had no alternative. They either had to accept the authority of the Nazis (and we all know what that meant) or fight back, and they couldn't be picky about their allies.

Yes, I know that Hitler and the Apartheid regime in South Africa were different (though the South African Boers reportedly admired Hitler to an extent) but the point itself is worthwhile. Sometimes when you're desperate you can't really choose your allies: they're chosen for you.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, in the 1930s, it was Stalin and the Communists who allied themselves with Hitler. The Communists didn't oppose Hitler till he invaded Russia .
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
We do not see any "nuances" in Nelson Mandela's political career.
He was an avowed communist, and with ruthless tactics before, during and
after his release from prison, he did in fact ultimately defeat apartheid.
But he was not the peaceful hero/messiah fawned over and depicted in the MSM today. Placing a gasoline soaked tire around the necks of your
'enemies' is not to our mind, how you win over and influence people.......
but that was just one of his despicable ways of winning.
We think much too much is being made of a snake-in-the grass communist.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since they refuse to tell the truth about obama Fox is too unbalanced to tell the truth about that fraud mandela.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

I would back a bit farther up the track and ask "What is it with Africa ?" 60 years after the end of its Euro-colonization, it's still pretty much of a mess, north to south, east to west, especially compared to, say, South Korea, which had its own very interesting 20th Century, and yet has prospered through to a reasonable democratic state. It very much seems to me that tribalism and Islamism are not healthy environments for children and countries.

Bottom line, it sure makes a guy wonder what Africa would be like today if the Europeans had never shown up.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why speak ill of the dead? The legacy of Mr. Mandela will determine how he is remembered. Let the man rest in peace.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
#*% I clicked on Like when I meant to click on Reply but I don't see an "Unlike" to reverse it.....

Anyway, my point was that the mainstream media are telling the vast majority of people who Mandela was and are leaving out a LOT of things that should figure into a well-informed assessment. That goes a very long way to shaping Mandela's legacy. In other words, if you omit all the troubling parts of Mandela's background, you are left with only a great lie about who he was and what he did. No man who organized terrorism like Mandela did should be lionized as a living saint.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
No.
All Politicians are public "people" and they can't have things "all ways". That applies to American Politicians also.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Looking for morality in the actions of a man who was determined to free his country from oppression by hook or by crook is probably going to fail. Lying will be the least of it; murder, killing, part of the scenery.

What would appealing to the morality of the King of England have been worth to our revolutionary forefathers? In the end America, like nearly all countries, was formed by the use of a musket and naked violence. We might ask ourselves what Washington would NOT have done to secure independence from England. Certainly he was willing to kill, which was a right he considered bestowed on him by nature and not law and, again, a natural right invoked by men for as long as there have been men. The law of kings and princes was too far from that nature - the Constitution closer.

South Africa was formed that same way in a language as old as mankind. Mandela was only one of countless millions in history who decided to use that language to unform it. I don't know that the truth of him is really any more complicated than that. That means that building statues to him is simply a matter of choosing a side, not principle. I see no reason to lionize Mandela, but then I am not on that side.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All