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What if Mandela had been imprisoned by black African leaders!!

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First published by Change of Guards Blog on December 7, 2014

Nelson Madiba Mandela (RIP) was released from 27 years’ imprisonment to become the first black President of South Africa. This followed Nelson Mandela’s championing the struggle of black Africans against the white minority rule that culminated into the re-known policy of racial segregation. Black Africans were justified in fighting against the system including the methods that were adopted at the time by Nelson Mandela though he was placed on the list of international terrorists.

During the time Nelson Mandela was in prison, the black African liberation movement thrived with the backing of some independent African leaders while the minority government in South Africa economically developed the country. When Nelson Mandela was released from Prison after 27 years, though he had been spiritually weakened, still he could have opted to resume the violent struggle against the white minority rule. He took a trip to some of the independent and ‘free’ African countries and it is most probable that what he saw there compared to the situation in South Africa then under the minority rule, must have influenced his decision to pursue the path of reconciliation. He contested for President in an election that was organised by the white minority rule but on the foundation of sound democratic principles that continue to thrive to date.

The minority rule in South Africa built a robust economy that put the country on the world map. Our young men who are escaping economic and political repression are craving to reach South Africa as a safe heaven. The independent African leaders whose countries were ‘free from oppressive minority rule’ decades earlier are rushing to South Africa to hide their ill-gotten wealth and to seek better medical facilities. Does minority rule only mean where whites are dominating in governance on an African country or it is shear racism? What about current African leaders who promote family rule and dominance of governance by friends, cronies and their tribe-mates?

Following the departure of their colonial masters, these independent and ‘free’ countries had embarked on suppressing their own people. Many promising upcoming leaders were harassed into exile, imprisoned, banished and killed by their fellow post independence African leaders. Economic mismanagement was and continues to be the order of the day. Had Nelson Mandela gained the Presidency in the 1960s, would South Africa have escaped what befell other African countries? Assuming Mandela had been imprisoned by black African leaders in South Africa at the time (his imprisonment no doubt helped to fuel the struggle), would he have remained alive in prison and even be released to become President?


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