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A very clever man
Not surprisingly, much has been said and written about Nelson Mandela. He has been described as being a good man, terrorist, freedom fighter, humble, kind, patient, understanding, tireless, hard working, sympathetic, unruffled, lovable, a family man, having a great sense of humour, brave, an icon and much more.
He was also a Communist, a member of the ANC, a black nationalist, non racialist, an opponent of armed struggle, and an advocate of violence, a hothead, and the calmest man in the room, a consumer of Marxism, and an admirer of western democracy. He was a Socialist but also a partner to capitalism.
He was a pragmatist and he cleverly supported whatever best suited the Africans of South Africa at any given time. He, more than any other person, prevented the bloodbath that most folk expected after the ending of apartheid.
It is usually said that “You cannot please all of the people, all of the time”.
However, Mandela got nearer to achieving that than any other politician anywhere in the world. Sadly, today’s South Africa is not even remotely like the nation Mandela had hoped to build. This is largely because no other African politician or leader is in the same league as Mandela.
I think the best, fairest and most appropriate title for Nelson Mandela is that he was a very clever man.
David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.
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