Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Nelson Mandela

I am adding my bit to the Mandela, or Madiba, - as the cognoscenti now seem to refer to him – festival. I did not watch the funeral and I am not really interested in the whole song and dance around it. But I do have two questions.

A partial answer to the first question would have been in the Mandela file that the South African previous regime’s secret service held and doubtlessly destroyed in the last days of Apartheid.

Even more interesting than the stuff in the file is what was too risky to include in the file to begin with, such as thoughts the Apartheid government may have entertained of getting rid of the prisoner they held for 27 years. Was there a plan to kill him? Was it ever discussed? Why did they hold back?

The Apartheid regime may have been so sure of itself that nothing was considered too risky to record. There is unlikely to be a file lying around anywhere but there must be people who know and I expect that if the information is not yet in the public domain, at some point it will be.

Not to be found in the files is the answer to my second question: Where would South Africa be, had there not been Nelson Mandela? 


  1. Another book already! You are prolific! Will get a copy when in Berlin over Christmas.

  2. Mandela indeed - what a sad circus. Max Weber would have classified him as a charismatic, capable of changing the dialectic of history. The problem is those who follow, who may well put it back on an ominous track.

    As to the file, I suspect (if he ever saw it) he ordered its destruction. There aren't many of his ilk around.

  3. Ich bin seit Jahren ein Fan von Madiba. Ich schreibe mich seit Jahren mit einer Südafrikanerin. Niemand kann so schön erzählen wie sie über Südafrika und Madiba. Aber man muß das Land selbst erleben.

  4. Where would South Africa be, had there not been Nelson Mandela? Glücklicherweise gab es diesen Mann, solche rhetorischen Fragen werden immer wieder gestellt, nie beantwortet, und was wäre, um Deine Frage in ihr abschreckendes Gegenteil zu kehren, wenn es Hitler nicht gegeben hätte? Wem hilft die Antwort, Alle hätten überlebt?