Originally posted by normbenign
My opinion, for what it's worth, is inconclusive and finds Mandela somewhat human, some angelic and some demonic.
Two women, a septuagenarian from Detroit whose son now resides in Jo burg, and his wife a Zulu from Durban, both have rather negative views of Nelson Mandela, primarily based on his ditching of Winnie the moment he was released from jail, a ...[text shortened]... nie Mandela gets a fair shake? I think
she was more a figure in the struggle than was Nelson.
It's wrong to presume that a feminist must blindly approve of everything
done by any woman in public, political, or even personal life.
"With our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country."
Evidently, Winnie Mandela endorsed the practice of 'necklacing', a brutal
method of summary execution (slowing burning a person to death) that
was employed against suspected black collaborators with apartheid.
(Some of these suspected collaborators probably were innocent.)
Like Archbishop Desmond Tutu (who once intervened to rescue an
intended victim of 'necklacing' ), I was appalled by 'necklacing', and
thus I strongly object to Winnie Mandela's endorsement of it.
(Given that 'necklacing' was a method of killing black rather than white
South Africans, would Normbenign even care about its brutality?)
Given the fact that he was imprisoned for 27 years, Nelson Mandela
should not be blamed for having been unable to take a more active role
in the armed struggle against apartheid.
I also note with disdain that some governments (e.g. US and Israel) and
people who abhorred and opposed Nelson Mandela and the ANC during most
of the long struggle against apartheid now like to pretend they always had
completely supported Nelson Mandela from the beginning of that struggle.
In fact, in the 1970s-80s there was a proxy war in southern Africa
between the forces of, on one side, Communist states such as the USSR,
GDR (East Germany), and Cuba and, on the other side, the USA, Israel,
and apartheid South Africa. Some of Nelson Mandela's earliest and most
devoted allies (comrades, if I may use that term) were Communists, not
right-wing white Westerners. Cubans were actively fighting (and dying)
against the SADF (apartheid South Africa's army) when the CIA was
secretly passing along technology to help South Africa's arms industry.