Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Mandela: A Terrorist?

I was shocked and appalled to read that Nelson Mandela, the father and founder of true South Africa is still blacklisted as a terrorist in America! I could not believe that such sacrilege could be committed by a country that prides itself to be the champion for democracy in the world. How can America hold Mandela as a terrorist without considering George Bush’s war atrocities?

"It is frankly a rather embarrassing matter that I still have to waive in my own counterparts - the foreign minister of South Africa, not to mention the great leader, Nelson Mandela," Ms Condoleezza Rice told lawmakers in Washington.

Look at America’s double standard. How can America have Mandela in its black book whilst ignoring the killers in Rwanda? Refer to the allegation that Swiss ambassador to Argentina Carla Del Ponte is facing pressure from her government not to publish her book "The Hunt: Me and War Criminals" telling how America stopped her from persecuting genocide perpetrators in Rwanda. According to the Swiss newspaper La Liberte, the former chief prosecutor at International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’s book is to be published by an Italian publisher, Feltrineli.

If America had any sense of reasoning, it would have agitated to see to it that these suspects are put behind bars. America needs to be told to its face that Mandela is the symbol of Africa’s struggle against injustices and inhumanity altogether.

Importantly though, leaving Mandela’s name in America’s black book is the living evidence how America used to support apartheid. If anything, this is the sign of hypocrisy. That is why many people would like to see China taking over the crown of superpower-ship.

Going back to the blacklist of terrorists in which the name of Nelson Mandela still features, South Africa's apartheid government banned the ANC in 1960, imprisoning or forcing into exile its leaders. America, it’s chief ally then, followed the suit by blacklisting Nelson Mandela!

South African authorities must petition to the UN to see to it that such mania should not be repeated.


By Nkwazi Mhango
Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He is a Journalist, Teacher, Poet, Human Rights activist and member of the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Source: The African Executive issue no 156

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