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Friday, December 6, 2013

WHITEWASHED: SA’s social, economic disaster: Mandela stewardship

Epidemic diseases: rabid rich-poor chasm, AIDS: “Grotesque levels of exploitation and poverty afflict most of the population” [O'Connor]
Excerpt, minor edit, end comment by
Carolyn Bennett

“Mandela’s death,” Patrick O’Connor observes today in the World Socialist Web Site news, “has been accompanied by an outpouring of tributes from world leaders, each seeking to outdo the other in presenting the most mawkish (over-sentimental, sappy, mushy, foolish) depictions of Mandela as a secular saint.”

 too sensed a multi-layered fakery and peddling of ignorance. I don’t need to re-quote the rhetoric here but to continue with O’Connor’s outline of Mandela’s deeds and the unmentioned South African reality.

Severe Poverty
South Africa today
“Underlying the cynical rhetoric of the current and former war criminals occupying the White House, and that of their allied heads of government around the world, is genuine gratitude for the invaluable service Mandela rendered to the South African ruling elite and world imperialism,” O’Connor writes.

“Mandela utilized his indubitable political skills and personal courage to stave off the threat of a social revolution in South Africa, dismantling the Apartheid regime while defending capitalism and protecting the property and wealth of the country’s white rulers and of transnational corporate investors. 

“…Mandela courted the South African ultra-wealthy. The Guardian’s obituary noted his ‘attachment to the glamour of the very rich.’ The newspaper explained:

Money was dazzling. Hence, once freed, he [Mandela] holidayed at the Irish businessman Sir Tony O’Reilly’s Caribbean island and gave the go-ahead for his takeover of South Africa’s biggest newspaper group, in anticipation of his ‘magic money’ providing black empowerment in the media.

He allowed the casino king, Sol Kerzner, to host the wedding of his daughter Zinzi.

He borrowed rich men’s houses and flew around South Africa in their aircraft.

“The social and economic disaster now evident in South Africa stands as an indictment of Mandela’s role in preserving capitalist rule and of his perspective of promoting a ‘non-European bourgeoisie.’

“Nearly 20 years after the end of Apartheid, South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world. Grotesque levels of exploitation and poverty afflict most of the population, with just over 50 percent living below the official poverty line.

“Officially, unemployment stands at 25 percent of the workforce, but the real figure is far higher.

“South Africa has the largest population infected with HIV/AIDS in the world, with up to 6.4 million people, or 12 percent of total population, including 450,000 children affected. Official data shows that only 28 percent of those infected are receiving treatment. Life expectancy was just 58 years in 2011, among the lowest in the world.

“At the other end of society, a tiny minority that now includes a layer of ANC, ex-Stalinist, and trade union figures have amassed enormous personal wealth. The country now has the most U.S. dollar billionaires of any African state, with 14 individuals now in this category, up from two a decade earlier.
Severe Poverty
South Africa today

“Mandela has died right at the point where social and political tensions in South Africa have reached a boiling point.”

his is another view of the esteemed leader. 

Observe for yourself. 

Read news and information reports and opinion beyond western and westernized concentrated corporate news. 

Believe what you like.

Sources and notes

“Former South African President Nelson Mandela dies” by Patrick O’Connor, December 6, 2013, http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/12/06/mand-d06.html

Long standing leader of the African National Congress (ANC) and the first president of post-Apartheid South Africa, Nelson Mandela, after suffering a protracted respiratory illness, has died (December 5) in Johannesburg. He was 95 years old. 


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