JOHANNESBURG - The grandson of the late global icon and former President Nelson Mandela, has called for caution.
Mandla Mandela says leaders must not be alarmist by describing the country as a ‘failed state’.
The statement by the Mvezo chief comes in the wake of a Nelson Mandela Foundation communiqué criticising President Jacob Zuma.
Mandela welcomed the statement saying its proof of a functioning democracy, but he's also levelled criticism against the foundation.
He says the foundation did not act when the Democratic Alliance used the Mandela brand and allegedly peddled half-truths during the local government elections.
Chief Mandla Mandela said that the allegation of ‘the wheels coming off the vehicle of the state’ is alarmist and irresponsible and poorly substantiated.
“The true test is not whether there is failure, transgression or wrong-doing such is to be found in all fields of human endeavour and no democracy in the world is beyond reproach. The quintessential test is whether the legal provisions, systems, institutions, structures and measures that our democracy and governing party has put in place to deal with such shortcomings and inefficiencies stands up to the task.”
“Whilst the Foundation and any citizen is free to criticise the state, governing party and its leadership the challenges that emerge can only be corrected by the majority party elected by the majority of South Africans. We can engage in debate and encourage public participation on such matters and indeed the African National Congress does so extensively, ultimately it is our responsibility to set our house in order.”
The traditional leader further added that the foundation does the cause of education in South Africa a great disservice by peddling half-truths and cheaply dismissing the many achievements of the past two decades.
“The chaos that has descended on campuses in South Africa arising from the #feesmustfall campaign must be held up to the same prism and standards of a functioning democracy. Students have a right to protest and must also exercise the full gamut of constitutional provisions for resolving such grievances. Criminality of any form has no place in any democracy and must likewise be dealt with in due process of law. Those who hide their criminality behind legitimate protest whether such is orchestrated in an attempt to create an impression of a failed state, or whatever their motives; such actions indeed merit a commission of enquiry and should such be the case must be dealt with in the appropriate manner.”