A good tribute to Nelson Mandela on his 92nd birthday
I know what we shall give you tata. We shall give you a country that oozes the ideal you cherished; the ideal for which you have lived for 92 years now – the ideal of freedom for all. Not freedom for the rich or freedom for the politically connected. Not freedom for comrades alone. Not freedom for men and not freedom for women. Not freedom for whites and not freedom for blacks. Freedom for all! For we know now that – as Jonas Gwangwa has sung it to us – freedom for some is freedom for none. We want to give you a democratic country. For your name and in your honour, each one of us will become freedom ambassadors, freedom foot-soldiers and freedom defenders. We shall teach it in our schools, practice it in the workplace, defend it in parliament, advocate it in our courts and nurture it in our own homes.
But is it within our power to give him all, or even any of those things? We are like children squabbling over the inheritence of their parents, and wasting it all on legal battles to contest the will.
Yesterday we planned to have a Requiem at Mamelodi to commemorate those in the parish who had died, and Father Frumenius, who was to have served it, was unable to be with us because there was an urgent meeting in Atteridgeville about xenophobia. Freedom is written into our constitution, and that is a great gain. But until it is written into the hearts of our people, we will not really be free.