South African icon Nelson Mandela has been defended by his eldest grandson, Mandla, against a stinging attack by populist politician Julius Malema.
The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party on Wednesday told Oxford University students that Mandela’s deviation from the Freedom Charter was the beginning of the “selling out” of the revolution.
“The Nelson we celebrate now is a stage-managed Mandela who compromised the principles of the revolution‚ which are captured in the Freedom Charter,” Mr Malema told students during his visit to the United Kingdom.
But Mandla Mandela came out with guns blazing on Friday, describing the EFF leader as “bereft of culture‚ knowledge and wisdom.”
“Julius Malema’s rant about Madiba selling out the Freedom Charter is ridiculous. He and his cronies in the EFF have shown disdain for everything that the Freedom Charter stands for – including trashing parliament‚ which is the highest expression of the Freedom Charter’s statement that the people shall govern [themselves],” said Mandela’s grandson.
He went on: “He (Malema) is bereft of culture‚ knowledge and wisdom‚ yet he is intent on making parliament ungovernable‚ assaulting the legacy of our heroes and icons‚ rubbishing our democracy and driving business from our shores,” read the statement.
He accused the former African National Congress Youth League leader of having no regard for traditional African values such as respect for elders.
“Like those of many of our stalwarts and heroes‚ Madiba’s legacy is unassailable and Julius Malema’s drivel is just that‚ drivel. There are no limits to Julius Malema’s naughty behaviour. This time it was Madiba’s legacy that he attacked. He didn’t realise that he was hacking the very branch on which he was sitting,” Mandla Mandela said.
He added that his grandfather’s legacy of nation-building‚ reconciliation and social cohesion stood as a monumental work in progress guided by the Freedom Charter‚ the South African Constitution‚ South Africa’s Bill of Rights and 103 years of struggle waged by the ANC and the broader liberation movement.
SOURCE: AFRICA REVIEW