Mandela deserves better

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outh Africans are at it again! Surely the late great Madiba deserves better than we saw at his memorial at the FNB stadium on Tuesday.

Even though Nelson Mandela evokes varied memories in Lesotho over the events of 1998, he remains a great man. An indisputable international icon.

With more than 91 heads of state or government in attendance, Madiba’s funeral service on Tuesday has surpassed those of the two great heroes of the last 100 days, Pope John Paul 11 and Winston Churchill.

The multitudes who turned up, including all these world leaders, would have done so at their own volition in line with the respect they had for Madiba.

This was therefore an occasion to behave. An occasion for somberness and solemnity. This was the least of places to exemplify inanity.

Yet this is exactly what US President Barack Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt did.

Like overly-excited teenagers, the three were caught giggling and taking a “selfie” — a group photo of themselves — on Thorning-Schmidt’s mobile phone when the funeral service was underway.

The image of the three taking a group photo during the service for Madiba went viral on social networks and prompted outrage online.

This was despite Obama’s earlier spectacular eulogy to Madiba.

The world leaders’ selfie, according to the UK’s Daily Mail, led to a backlash from Twitter users who said it was inappropriate behaviour at an event to remember the life of the anti-apartheid hero, who died last week aged 95.

Twitter user James Armitage wrote: ‘What selfish morons take a “selfie” at a memorial service? Oh yeah that’s right, Barack Obama and David Cameron.’

In a message directed at Mr Cameron, Sarah McDermott said: ‘You have precisely zero class or decorum.’

 

 

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riting on Twitter, Mel Huang said: ‘I wonder if Neil Kinnock got an ulcer seeing his daughter-in-law do a selfie with David Cameron . . . at a memorial service.’

Kinnock is a former leader of the UK’s Labour Party.

His son married Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the Prime Minister of Denmark.

The image has since been featured on several newspaper front pages, with commentators saying that it showed a lack of respect for the solemn service for Madiba.

Instead of apologising, Cameroon’s response is particularly bamboozling.

The British Prime Minister claims the snap with his two colleagues was proof that even in death Mandela was ‘bringing people together’.

Well said Mr Cameroon. You prove that no one has a monopoly over stupidity.

Aside from the antics of the three leaders, the greatest disgrace came in the form of ANC supporters who booed their split-headed leader Jacob Zuma.

This was in stark contrast to the rapturous applause they have to former president Thabo Mbeki. Zuma was booed each time he was shown on the giant screens as he spoke while the crowds cheered loudly when the names of former presidents Kgalema Motlanthe, Mbeki and FW de Klerk were mentioned.

People of Mzansi can no longer hide their dislike for the incumbent President. It is as if they were forced to vote for Zuma.

But to show their disapproval of Zuma at such an auspicious event is unforgivable.

Yes, one understands their frustrations with their country’s downward spiral under Zuma, in particular his appropriation of M206 million to improve his private residence.

But what did they expect when they put Zuma into office in the first place.

Did they not know that they were voting for a split headed empty tin with 11 wives, 33 children and absolutely no education.

What for instance would Basotho expect if they voted a sheep herd-boy into the premier’s seat.

Would it then be proper to boo that herd-boy when he delivers a eulogy at the King’s funeral. No South Africans you have lost it.

 

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till on the subject of South Africans, it seems our neighbours, whose land totally surrounds us, are determined to compete and outpace Zimbabwe in their knack for the bizarre.

Imagine a country legitimising its most notorious criminals by allowing them to legally organise themselves.

Just imagine all the big names in the criminal underworld in Lesotho openly coming together to form a political party and announcing the event with a straight face, worse still, even expecting to be legitimately recognised and accepted as a viable alternative voice in the national arena.

Mzansi is now never short of wonders.

We can safely say, “Out of South Africa always comes something new.”

You have heard of South Africa’s notorious gangster and ex-convict Kenny Kunene (the Sushi King).

Kunene was in the news again last week, only this time for not licking sushi off a semi-nude beauty.

Kunene, who a few months ago joined Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters and then quickly left the new party, has found a political home among ex-convicts like him in the Western Cape. Their new party is called the Patriotic Alliance.

One of the most notorious Cape Town gangsters among the coloured community, Rashied Staggie, is among the prominent members of the new party.

Patriotic Alliance founder Gayton McKenzie, a convicted bank robber,  told the media, “Listen, we’re not choosing the pope here, we’re choosing a politician.”

Not to be outdone Kunene, who claims his party has pastors in its ranks, quotes the bible extensively in defence of his new party. Kunene said God never used people with a clean past.

He goes on to say biblical Moses was a murderer who was later chosen to liberate his people.

That may very well be so Kunene, except your political party’s agenda is not about regular Godly work.

An African National Congress youth leader raised concerns that the country’s Independent Electoral Commission was “reducing the country to a banana republic by registering a political party led by ex-convicts”.

“We can’t allow gangsters to organise themselves masquerading as politicians.

 

 

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his is unheard of. How can you have criminals organising themselves legally. It means you are legalising crime.”

Scrutator wonders what Basotho would say if all the thieves be they car thieves or cattle thieves and even petty pick-pockets and shop-lifters (Masholu) were to form a party and then demand to be taken seriously for a vote.

Now, after the traumatic experience of the Zuma years, which have now forced South Africans to show their disapproval of him at the most inappropriate occasion, it may now well be Kunene and Mackienze in the Union Buildings.

After all the bizarre happens in Mzansi. The elections in South Africa are only around the corner. My fellow Basotho, lets evacuate from our small country, and establish our new Kingdom on planet Jupiter. At least we will be safe there.

 

Ache!

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Lesotho’s widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

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