Mandela’s Memory re-surfaced At Anti-Zuma Rally in South Africa
On Thursday Zelda La Grange the late president Nelson Mandela’s assistance
said: having failed to implement Nelson Mandela’s vision, President Jacob
Zuma must step down. Zelda made this statement at a freedom movement
rally in Pretoria.
“We want… a president that respects himself enough to step down when his
people asked him to,” said La Grange at a gathering of various opposition
political parties, as well as civil society and religious organisations at
“We want to say: ‘Mr President this is what we want… please do the dignified
thing and listen to your people,” she said in calling for Zuma to leave office.
La Grange evoked the legacy of her former employer – one she described as
being of respect, ethics and solidarity – suggesting Zuma had failed to live up
to his predecessor’s example.
“Mr President, listen to us: follow the plan that Madiba and his people put
together in 1994.”
La Grange led the crowd in a number of chants including: “Not in my name”
and “claim back our power”.
La Grange’s address at the rally was followed shortly afterwards by Nelson
Mandela’s granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela.
Wearing a pink T-shirt with her grandfather’s name on it, Mandela evoked
the preamble of the Freedom Charter, which says that the people shall
govern, as a reminder that the government leaders could be criticised.
“The people have the right to call their government to account. We are
today calling the government to account.”
In particular, said Mandela, when it came to a proposed parliamentary vote
towards a motion of no confidence in Zuma, “We want our leaders, that we
elected from our communities, to do the right thing,” she said.
“Before [in 1994] we sang together, we bled together and we marched
together and we are still marching together to call our government into order.”
The eldest granddaughter of late Tata Madiba, Ndileka Mandela.
#FreedomMovementRally @News24 pic.twitter.com/GeEx46DNIa— Iavan
Pijoos (@Iavan13) 27 April 2017
Mandela later disclosed that if his grandfather was alive, he would have said
that if the ANC did to people what the apartheid government did to them, then
they must do to the ANC what the people did to the apartheid government.
“It saddens me that we had to come here to defend our people when we stand
on the shoulders of giants who stood for morality…it is sad. But what makes me
happy is that again, we are united as one to defend our democracy despite the
sadness that’s accompanying it.”
Freedom Day commemorates the country’s first post-apartheid elections held in
1994. This year signals 23 years of South Africa’s democracy.