The burial of freedom hero Nelson Mandela in Qunu on Sunday 15 December 2013 marked the end of Mandelism – Mandela’s ideas, principles and philosophy – and ushered South Africa and the whole of Africa into a climate of uncertainty and leadership vacuum.
Close to 450 people, including close friends and family, accompanied the late former South African president to his gravesite, where he is now resting in peace 19 years after he helped shape and drive his country into to the democratic dispensation, thanks to the magic of Mandelism.
If Mandela’s life was celebrated and hailed throughout his funeral, his Mandelism is homeless and probably wandering here and there, looking for a place to stay and continue the good work of its founder.
However, it is highly unlikely that it will find a welcoming place, given the fact that South Africa is no longer the place it is used to be when Mandela came in power in 1994.
The main reason of this is the deteriorating state of post-Mandela leadership – a vicious and visionless leadership focusing on self-enrichment, and creating a fearful and controversial environment to cover up its wrongdoings.
If South Africa’s post-Mandela leaders could not inherit even one single virtue of Mandelism, what about the rest of the continent, a place where brothers kill brothers for money, power and glory?
Twenty-three years after he came out of prison and started to campaign for peace, freedom, respect for human rights, tolerance, reconciliation and democracy, Mandela has touched millions of people across the globe. Unfortunately, not a single African political leader has been able to emulate him and his ideals.
So, it is fair for many observers to say that Mandela’s death and burial mean not only the end of Mandelism, but also of the ‘death’ of South Africa and Africa.
This is Moon of the South tribute to Nelson. Ecce Homo! Gone but not forgotten!
Photo: Members of the SA Army carry the coffin of Nelson Mandela to the funeral ceremony in Qunu. Credit: AFP/Odd Andersen