The year that was, without our Mandela

Friday 5 December marks the one year anniversary of the death of Nelson Mandela. A year ago, South Africans and the world went into mourning. A year ago, the man who picked up a broken nation and pieced it back together, died.

I remember being woken up on 5 December last year at about 10pm by a colleague. She said Nelson Mandela had just passed away and I needed to get the story. My fiance’s friend was sleeping at our house, because he was getting married the next day. I remember thinking, the happiest day of his life would be marked by tears from around the world – and would forever be a day of sadness for South Africans. Needless to say, I missed the wedding – something I will never be able to undo, but also something I will never regret.

As I look back on the year that was – a lot has changed. Our political landscape is different, the world we live in is different and our president – well, he is the same disappointment he was this time last year.

I don’t for a second think that Nelson Mandela was perfect during his presidency, but it would seem we have gone from good, to bad to worse over the last 21 years.

Mandela was our saving grace, Mbeki brought us AIDS conspiracies, but also managed to be very diplomatic. Zuma, well he has made our nation strong… He has shown us that we can unite together and fight against corruption.

He has shown us that scandals such as Gupta gate and Nkandla do not go unnoticed and he has proven time and time again, that South Africans are not stupid. I am sure in another 21 years, we will look back to this time and laugh – but for now, it is no laughing matter. For now – on the eve of Nelson Mandela’s death, South Africa is in a bit of a sham.

Megan McLean
Group Editor

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