Mandela hi-jacked by media
South Africa, beware the trap of hi-jacking and distorting history
A well-earned and happy birthday to the highly respected leader, retired ANC president and first president of a new, democratic South Africa is very much part of history, globalisation and a new world economic order.
It was therefore, to be expected from the onset that corporate mainstream media and racist, neo-liberal elitists’ agenda would hi-jack and isolate Nelson Mandela from the ANC and the indigenous nation of Africa. They linked the other Nobel Peace prize-winner, Bishop Desmond Tutu, to the legacy of Nelson Mandela.
The international Western community contributed to that evil strategy of distorting and re-writing the ANC and South Africa’s struggle history. Pretoria’s former colonial-apartheid regime president, F. W. de Klerk, shared the global political peace prize with Nelson Mandela.
Mandela’s former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, is on record criticising her former husband for having accepted that price and worse, shared it with De Klerk. Winnie Mandela spoke out, realising the fact that there are many leaders in the ANC and other organisations, who had made their contribution.
Pity, Nelson Mandela’s birthday was marred with hard work at splitting the ANC and slandering of Jacob Zuma.
As usual, South Africa’s corporate mainstream media put their soft power into action, lending their platform to Bishop Tutu, whose announcement that he would pray for the downfall of the ANC is on record; the former Director General in the office of re-called former president Thabo Mbeki, reverend Frank Chikane and Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Corporate mainstream media headlines complimented Mandela’s 94 birthday on their front pages with “Madiba betrayed”, “Madiba’s heart could bleed”, “Sell-outs rule” and many such more.
Under the watch of the former Director-General of the Presidency, reverend Frank Chikane would not have had headlines such as “Sell-outs rule”.
This is interesting. The arms deal developed during his time in the Union Buildings. Chikane never spoke out against it.
In 2000 and 2001 the attempt to collapse the South African Rand currency with a subsequent judicial commission of inquiry and an investigation from the South African Chamber of Business (SACOB) under its CEO, Kevin Wakeford, uncovered the evil dealing in the shadows by certain so-called captains of industry. The findings of the judicial commission led to the Rand bouncing back. This too happened under reverend Chikane’s watch. But, he remained quiet.
The Petrol South Africa (PetroSA) scam of dealing with Iraqi oil was another of one of corrupt deals during Frank Chikane’s time in the government office in Pretoria. Again, Chikane kept mum.
The HIV-Aids controversy peaked under the presidency of Thabo Mbeki and his Director-General, Frank Chikane. The good reverend never uttered a critical word.
He is silent too on the corrupt relationship of the former police commissioner, Jackie Selebi, former re-called president Thabo Mbeki and convicted drug dealer, liar and accused murderer, Glen Agliotti.
Under Mbeki’s rule bribery and corruption, tenderpreneurship flourished. But, Frank Chikane never took a stand.
Now, that is the real betrayal of the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Is it therefore, not Chikane who is part of the “sell-outs” within the ANC?
Enters Nobel Peace price laureate Bishop Tutu, with his headline “Madiba’s heart could bleed”. Always a limelight seeker, many African leaders noted the bishop’s ostentatious behaviour ever since he entered the political forum.
Mandela’s ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, criticised Tutu openly, as previously reflected in the media.
It should be noted that Tutu was never a member of the ANC. He was always an outsider, looking in.
Yet, Tutu is hailed as an anti-apartheid stalwart and put on the same pedestal as Nelson Mandela. Many senior ANC members question, “Why would a Bishop Tutu be elevated to those levels of society?” Respected members of the old guard of the ruling party want to know, “Why does Tutu continue to badmouth the ruling party, when he himself has shown many flaws?”
Yet, ego-driven Tutu celebrated his retirement from public life in the media. But, he comes in and out of retirement, making ludicrous statements, most of them out of touch with real-politics.
“It is interesting that the Anglican Bishop never mentioned anything about South Africa’s economy”, an ANC NEC and NWC member commented, asking, “what are his (Tutu’s) views on and his criticism of the exclusive and closed economy, on the cartel-formation, on fixing of the bread and the milk prices and the collusion of the big construction companies in their efforts to secure the building of the country’s sport stadia?”
Interestingly, the same media reported on Monday, 23 July 2012, that Bishop Tutu received an award from one of South Africa’s largest retail outlets in front of a contingency of the corporate media.
In contrast, Nelson Mandela was not a mischievous armchair politician, just playing to the public gallery. He worked on solutions and built a nation. Mandela brought democracy to colonial-apartheid South Africa.
Irritated struggle stalwarts further ask, “Could Tutu have done the same, could he contribute to the nation building of his country? What is Tutu’s meagre background, making him to seek the public limelight all the time? The “retired” Bishop does not offer any solutions to local problems. He views and criticises the ANC in isolation when there are many factors that dictate reality in South Africa and the region.”
Tutu’s ranting against Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe and the ruling ZANU-PF are an additional case-in-point.
And, corporate media makes sure that only the negatives make headlines. By using the corporate media platform in their destructive accusations, the above-mentioned public figures play cheap and opportunistic politics, each one of them having failed dismally and betrayed Nelson Mandela’s legacy. The question should be asked, who really betrayed and sold out Nelson Mandela and the ANC in essence?
The collusion of the soft power in its war against the progressive forces becomes clearer.
This columnist was assured that “the old struggle stalwarts are indeed aware what exactly is going on.” It is pointed out “the above is nothing new”. It has always been on the agenda of the racist and exclusive right-wing to bring the ANC into disarray, pushing for the implosion of the movement.”
“There are senior members of the ANC, who work for interest groups outside”, the elder stalwart told this writer.
Third Force infiltration, bribery and corruption, no service delivery, rampant incompetence firmly in place and cheque book politics make sure that the ANC is kept busy with infighting. It compromises the ANC. At the same time, external powers play their part in ensuring that the ANC will be undermined and the country polarised.
Meanwhile, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) is unified and is therefore able to work tirelessly in the black African living areas. It explains the inroads the DA is making into the black African communities.
This is the birthday gift the real sell-outs gave Nelson Mandela on the 18 of July 2012.
- Udo W. Froese is an independent political and socio-economic analyst and columnist, based in Johannesburg, South Africa