Thursday, July 31, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mandela, his ideas, triumphed

Web_OurView_YourView

By
From page A8 | December 07, 2013 |

The white South African system of apartheid was a brutal, cynical system of racial segregation that was becoming increasingly unsustainable and most observers believed it could end in only one way – massive bloodshed.

The majority black population believed revolution to be inevitable and the white-ruled government made careful preparations to see that such a revolution would not succeed. It is owing largely to one man, Nelson Mandela, that neither came to pass.

If Mandela, who died this past week at 95, could be cloned, sub-Saharan Africa would be a much better place.

Mandela was cruelly and unfairly convicted of crimes that consisted largely of wishful thinking and spent 27 years in prison on Robben Island for the dreamy and impractical scheme to overthrow white rule. He was taken to the island when he was 44 and returned when he was 71.

He seemed by nature free of self-pity but during his days mining limestone and his nights in a small cell he developed an almost preternatural dignity. He also learned Afrikaans, the language of both his jailers and the ruling minority government, and it is not overstating the case to say he literally talked his way out of jail with his vision of a multiracial society.

With the white Afrikaaner president, F.W. de Klerk, he negotiated the terms of the country’s first free election, which Mandela won handily. But in contrast to the pattern of African self-rule, where the first free election is the last, Mandela stepped down at the end of his term. Inevitably, the government fell into the hands of lesser men but, even so, it was still so much better than what preceded Mandela.

Mandela had an uncanny sense of the appropriate gesture. His jailer from Robben Island was in the front row at his inauguration. When the South African rugby team, the Springboks, revered by whites, won the world championship, Mandela came down to the field wearing Springbok colors to present the trophy.

He created a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which in practice did little of either, but it provided a badly needed outlet for the people to vent the anger and frustration they felt from the indignities suffered under apartheid.

Mandela died Thursday at 95. Regardless of whether or not you believe in the Great Man theory of history, Mandela was truly a great man.

Scripps Howard News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rick WoodDecember 07, 2013 - 7:05 am

    I believe in the Great Man theory of history (and the lack of a Great Man theory too). There have been three dominant "irreconcilable" world conflicts in my lifetime, in Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Palestine. In two, "Great Men" arose to change the course of history, proving them not "irreconcilable." I'm convinced the third reconcilable as well, as surprising to us as that might be. It only awaits a few Great Men.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensDecember 07, 2013 - 10:55 am

    One of the most horrible but effective terrorist tools the radical blacks in South Africa have used to eliminate and intimidate those who might stand up against them is “neck lacing.” This consists of binding the hands and feet of the victim, draping a gasoline-filled tire around his or her neck and setting it afire, subjecting the victim to a slow, excruciatingly painful death. This is done by mobs, who add to the suffering by beating and stoning the writhing victims. (Winnie Mandela’s Secret describes and shows actual scenes of this barbarism.) It is unthinkable that anyone who has condoned, much less encouraged, such atrocities would be welcomed in this country, honored by high officials, cheered at mass gatherings, and escape any critical comment by our ever-vigilant media. It is equally unthinkable that a person who had been implicated in the abduction, torture and murder of a 14-year-old black renowned as an anti-apartheid activist would be honored by the American people, its media and especially by American blacks. But this is exactly what happened when Winnie Mandela came here with her husband. In April 1986, Winnie Mandela publicly endorsed “neck lacing,” telling a Soweto mob, “With our necklaces we will liberate this country.” Mrs. Mandela was also implicated in January 1989 in the abduction of three young black men and a boy from a Methodist Church shelter. Mrs. Mandela’s bodyguards, known as the “Mandela United Football Club,” snatched them and took them to Mrs. Mandela’s home where they were beaten, whipped and subjected to other forms of torture. The object was to get them to say that the Methodist minister, who is white, had abused them sexually. Two of them did so but later recanted. A third escaped. The boy, 14-year-old Mokhetsi “Stempie” Seipei, did not give in and was beaten into unconsciousness. On January 7, 1989, his battered body was found in a field with his throat slit. Stempie was famous as an anti-apartheid activist, having been arrested for his activities when he was only 10. The police went to Mrs. Mandela’s home in Soweto, where they confiscated weapons, noted blood-splattered walls in outbuildings, and seized large quantities of bedding, carpeting and a van for forensic examination. Mrs. Mandela claimed that she was not home when the torture took place, but even Tom Sebina, the ANC spokesman in Lusaka, Zambia, doubted that claim. The survivors said Mrs. Mandela was present and had participated in the torture, and they testified to that effect when the leader of the bodyguards was tried for murder in May 1990. The judge said in his summation that the evidence showed that Mrs. Mandela had been present and had taken part in the beatings. He said the evidence had “the ring of truth,” implicitly suggesting that Winnie Mandela was an accomplice in the crimes, even though she had not been charged.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Cities dealing with state drought rules

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Muralist helps locals ready for some painted wall history

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

It’s ‘camping for 30′ at the Solano fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rejection makes us each stronger

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Highway 12 crash sends 2 to hospital

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 12 Comments | Gallery

 
Mall to host Ultimate Army Throw Down

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Police release name of Vallejo homicide victim

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
Police investigate Fairfield shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Peace Corps evacuates over Ebola as 2 isolated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 8 Comments

AP Analysis: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Ex-IRS official called conservatives ‘crazies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 6 Comments

 
Dissent quieted with most Israelis behind Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 14 Comments

 
Congress cooperates – and fights – as recess nears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Powell maybe not told early about CIA techniques

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Crews work to keep Yosemite fire from sequoias

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

Sanctions will damage Russia if not lifted quickly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

 
Cruz gets border crisis wrong

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11, 8 Comments

Editorial Cartoons: July 31, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
What happened to the US?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 18 Comments

Am I blaming victims?

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for July 31, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 31, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I want to change my daughters last name to my maiden name

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Commentary: ‘Orphan Black,’ Emmy snubs and questions of identity

By Los Angeles Times | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC’s Peter Pan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Contract dispute delays ‘Big Bang’ production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Hammel fails again for Athletics in loss to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Ray Guy’s long wait for Hall of Fame comes to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders owner confirms talks with San Antonio

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Lloyd’s film watching impresses 49ers teammates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

SF benefits from Pirates’ blunder, ends skid at 6

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Complete game shutout lifts Expos to State Tournament win

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Stanford star Ty Montgomery rehabbing shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Greg Ives to crew chief Earnhardt in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Steelers to retire Hall of Famer Greene’s No. 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Fairfield-Suisun 6U Bobby Sox win titles

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

Usain Bolt in controversy at Commonwealth Games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Indians trade pitcher Masterson to Cardinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Riley speaks out, insists Heat will be competitive

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Nadal out of 2 tournaments because of right wrist

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

US judge slaps $1.3B fine on Bank of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Overhaul approved for troubled California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Judge says Crystal CEO should testify in lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

Louise Scholten

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Ronald Witt Escue Sr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Scott Allen Shaver

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9