NELSON ROLIHLAHLA MANDELA  aka "MADIBA", Father of the nation. Born at Qunu, near Umtata, South Africa,  on July 18th 1918.  The long walk to Freedom was a very long walk indeed. In the twenty seven years he spent in prison he could probably have walked to the moon and back and then some. How on earth does one stay sane when imprisoned for twenty seven years ? Madiba himself gave the answer : an unshakeable belief in Dear God Almighty, the knowledge that one is totally right, politically and morally, and the understanding that the dreams, hopes, and aspirations of millions of your African brothers and sisters are riding on your back. Those  dreams, hopes and aspirations of the South African Black people can be summed up in one word - Freedom. "Amandla" {Freedom} was the eternal cry of the people. May that cry echo across the entire planet, it must never die, whatever a man's colour. On being elected President of South Africa,  Nelson Mandela made one of the greatest Humanitarian Statements ever -  "Never again should anyone, Black, White, or Brown, be oppressed because of the colour of their skin." I quote loosely, but for me this ranks alongside Martin Luther King's monumental " I have a dream" statement. No man should be a slave, and any organisation, political, religious, whatever, that acts contrary to this indisputable truth has no place in a a truly democratic society. That organisation is, beyond any doubt - Evil - in the worst sense of the word.  When he was initially sentenced, Madiba asked the court " How can I be found guilty of breaking laws that the African people had no say in formulating ? How can I { or any other African} be guilty of breaking laws that tell me where I can go, when I can go, what I am, what I am not, when I have no say in the matter ? Laws designed purely for the protection of white society, while the black people have no protection whatsoever ?"  Again I quote loosely, but the essence of Madiba's words are in my writing. I could do some research and give you the quote verbatim, but there's no need, if you don't understand what I'm saying, then baby, you really should go back to school. Nelson Mandela spent time in solitary.

Nelson Mandela did Hard labour. If a spider came into his cell he would treat it for what it was, a tiny example of the miracle of God's creation, a creature that had as much right to Life, and the living of it, as he had. This veritable Saint possesses all the qualities required to lead a nation.  Compassion, humility, tenderness and love. Faith, forgiveness, understanding, and, above all, an iron will. A will that drove him on in the pursuit of his dream to see his people attain that which is the God given right of every man, woman, and child upon this earth, irrespective of race, creed, or colour.....Amandla - Freedom. Nelson grew up in the Transkei, a particularly beautiful part of South Africa. He was a member of the the "Madiba" clan, hence the name "Madiba", a name revered and loved by all South Africans. When my Wife Pina and I speak of him we always use the name Madiba. We, like millions of others, love and respect him as if he were our own Father, that's how important he is in our lives. When he was released from prison, three things in the main prevented South Africa from being consumed in the flames of retribution :- the incredible forgiveness of the African people, the compassion and repentance of the Afrikaaner, plus the wisdom and understanding of Nelson Mandela. Let me here correct a dreadful misconception  concerning the Afrikaaner. The Afrikaans people were as much a moral and spiritual victim of the apartheid system as were the Africans. As with most governmental decisions made in any given country, they had little or no say in the laws passed by the apartheid regime. In the main, they had to go with it or face imprisonment and probably death, themselves. Many were the white people who spoke out against the dreadful inhuman laws passed by the Apartheid regime, and many paid for their "disobedience." During that period, the Great Nation of South Africa, like Nazi Germany, was controlled by terror and fear. It took a strong man to speak out against the Apartheid Government because, as in Nazi Germany, not only was the dissenting individual at risk of being imprisoned, tortured, and murdered, all members of his family faced the same dangers. The greatest threat to the Afikaans people was, as with the ordinary German citizens, that they were being robbed of their compassion. Take any child, anywhere, raise him to hate, torture, and murder.
Teach him that these are the norm, that anyone different to himself is inferior, and he'll believe it ! That's a dreadful, horrific, but undeniable fact. It has been proven over and over again throughout History. That is the Hellish cauldron of lies and deceit that the Afrikaaner almost fell into. The Afrikaans people are, quite simply, human beings, God fearing and God loving people, subject to the same strengths and weaknesses as anyone else. As a matter of fact, Madiba's Personal Secretary is a young Afrikaans Lady who adores him like a daughter. She personally handles his itinerary and makes sure he gets his rest, and generally fusses around as if Madiba was her own father. And he gives all the love and affection back to her. Let me tell you this. Never, since his election to the office of President Of South Africa right up the present day, have I known Nelson Mandela say he was going to do something and then renegue on what He said. Everyone I know in South Africa, from the toughest Boere to the ordinary guy in the street, everyone admires, loves, and respects Nelson Mandela. He has done something in South Africa that no one else has done. He has transcended colour, and shown it for what it is, in the end it's a fraud. He has held it aloft and declared  " The colour of a man's skin is of secondary importance in measuring his worth. He should be measured by the content of his character,  that's the important thing" { I thank Dr Martin Luther King for this last part of my quote.} Raised in the beautiful area known as the Transkei, He grew up in the Royal Kraal of the Madiba Clan, as I have already mentioned, and was groomed to be advisor to the King of the Thembus. He had a happy childhood in the village of Qunu, and was steeped in it's life of custom, taboo, and ritual. There is no doubt that his African heritage contributed to the making of the great man that he is today.
          Boxing with Jerry Moloi at his gym in Orlando
One of Madiba's greatest virtues is that he is an "ordinary" man. His feet are firmly on the ground and he has no sense of Lofty Ideals. The welfare of the common man, the education of his people, the right of every South African to have enough to eat, to have a roof over their heads and a bed to sleep in, the elimination of ignorance and injustice and poverty, the right to education, these were, and are, his goals. And, above all, the protection of children, those who are the future of this and every other nation on this planet, these are the truths which drive this great man. Simple, ordinary truths, but ones which seem to be almost totally absent in much of the decision making by the World's " Great " governments. Oh sure, they talk about them, but look for yourself. Examine the results of their policies and I'm sure you'll agree that the talk does not balance with the results. Talk is cheap. Drugs, prostitution, degradation of the human spirit, lies, cheating,  rip-off in almost every shere, the abuse of the ordinary people { the innocent lambs of humanity }  the mental and physical abuse of those who cannot protect themselves. These crimes are not only perpetuated but continue to grow, seemingly out of control, world wide ! SLAVERY is alive and well. Over one hundred thousand people disappeared from the West Coast of Africa in one year alone {2002}  most of them children. Did you know that ? Well you do now. Spread the word, this goes on year after year after year. God help them and God help us in our ignorance and non-caring. The elimination of disease, free medical attention for the afflicted, the rights of the common man, these are the principles that Madiba fights for. The desire to lift his fellow human beings out of dirt and squalor, to raise them to their rightful place in society , to restore dignity and pride to them, these simple truths power the the engine that drives Nelson Mandela.  As with all the great prophets and humanitarians, his own welfare and safety take second place to the welfare and safety of his fellow man. If we thought a bit less of ourselves and concerned ourselves more with the protection of others, especially the children, this world would be a much better place. That's an undeniable, incontrovertible truth.  Madiba says that poverty is the main cause of South Africa's problems, indeed of the world's problems. If we don't eliminate poverty then we shall never achieve the ideals we continually go on about. We won't get rid of crime for a start. A hungry belly knows no law. If my children were starving I would steal, wouldn't you ? Think about it. The founding of the African National Congress { ANC} was inevitable. 
 Nelson Mandela - with his prison number on his shirt - speaks in Johannesburg in 1994                  
When you're down and out with no hope of living a decent life under an oppressive system there's only one way out, you take up arms and fight that system. Nelson Mandela and his fellow sufferers did precisely that, and so the ANC was formed. In the 1950's Madiba was banned, arrested, and imprisoned for daring to challenge the apartheid system. As a banned political activist He couldn't leave Johannesburg without permission from the apartheid government, not even for a holiday. Being one of the accused in the geat "Treason Trial" at the end of the 50's, he had to go underground when the ANC was banned in 1960. He adopted a number of disguises including those of a labourer and a chauffeur and became known as "The Black Pimpernel" due to his uncanny ability of being able to evade the police. It was during this period that he, along with other black leaders, formed Umkhonto We Sizwe { MK } the armed branch of the ANC. Nelson  Mandela was appointed it's commander in chief and so one of the greatest chapters in the struggle of the African people to achieve freedom began. Wolfie Kedesh, a member of  UMkhonto we Sizwe, hid Nelson for two months in a white suburb of Johannesburg, an extremely brave and dangerous thing to do, I need hardly say that. Those who were closest to him at that time describe Madiba as being absolutely fearless. You know, when life has become a living hell for you and for those around you, when it has reached the point where even death is preferable to living in endless hellish torment, what is there to be afraid of ? Nothing at all. There is no doubt in my mind that in those circumstances God Almighty is on your side, even though the threat of imprisonment, torture, etc suggest everything to the contrary. In that kind of situation one has nothing to lose. Death, where is thy sting ?  Also, contrary to popular western belief, Nelson Mandela had many clashes and differences of opinion with the South African Communist Party during this period. At the 1964 Rivonia Trial Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment and subsequently sent to Robben Island where he was incarcerated for eighteen years. Those eighteen years were spent in a tiny cell.
            The cell in which I lived for eighteen of my twenty-seven years in prison
He slept on the floor and let me tell you the South African winters can be dreadful, temperatures dropping way below freezing point. A bucket was his toilet and he smashed rocks in a quarry with a small hammer, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. If you think my description is unnecessarily drawn out, then surely you must consider his situation to have been even more so. Many of his compatriots spent their sentences under the same circumstances, and I shall come to their names in due course. Wonderful, brave men who suffered simply because they fought for freedom under an unjust, corrupt, and inhuman system. Let me remind you dear reader,  their only "crime" was the colour of their skin. If their skin had been white this whole situation would never have arisen, and there would have been no need to tell this story. Isn't that the shameful, heartbreaking, despicable truth ?  Madiba was allowed one visitor a year for thirty minutes, and he could write and receive one letter every six months.   In a recent tv interview he said that one of his few pleasures was in planting a seed and watching it grow to become a flower, a tiny example of God's great gift of life, and one of the saddest things during that  interminable period was never seeing children, the unopened buds of the flowers of humanity. Ahh, Dear Sweet God Almighty, what are we doing to one another.

"Communists have always played an active roll in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short term-objects of communism would always correspond to the long-term objects of freedom movements."

Mr Darwin, where are you ? Please come back and explain the simple basic facts of creation to those who don't or won't recognise the truth. None are so blind as those who cannot see. We are all brothers and sisters and we are all part of the great universal family of God's creation, from the tiny ants to the great whales who swim the oceans.
One of the great things about the internet is that allows virtually anyone to use it as a soap-box, you have the freedom to say your piece. That's an important facet of democracy, it is, in fact, the most important. The right of every man to express his opinions on whatever. So where is my story on Nelson Mandela heading ?  If you haven't read " Long Walk To Freedom " then do yourself a favour - read it, because in among all the fighting, the disillusionment, the despair, Nelson Mandela reveals the most powerful tool known to man - that of self realisation and the power of the inner self. For me, just to quote sayings from his book, just to give dates of court trials etc etc would be a useless exercise and an insult to what this gentleman is trying to communicate to the world. What I'm attempting to do is re-inforce those principals, quite simply I'm adding my voice to his cause, and that cause is the welfare of the common man.
Nelson Mandela's driving principals are not complex, they are simplicity itself. Love one another, respect one another, look after the poor, the hungry, those who haven't a snowballs chance in hell without outside assistance. Those who have no voice, and there are millions who have no voice. Above all else, look after the children.  I believe that a malnourished child, living in a shack with no running water, electricity or toilet, has as much right to express itself, to have a say in what's going on, as the President of the United States,  or anyone else for that matter. "OK " you say - " we all know that and we all agree with what you're saying, so what ? "    If that is the case, if we all know about it, then why is nothing or very, very little being done that will enable that child to have a voice ? That's what Nelson Mandela says to me, and that is what I'm asking you. Here's the whole point of this article : Nelson Mandela, along with others, helped me realise I had a voice. I have the right to express my opinion. On anything and everything. From cornflakes to what's gone wrong with the world. With this right, one must be prepared to accept responsibilty for the content of one's opinions, and one should attempt to add something constructive to any criticism one has concerning this bad ol' world and the running of it. The world runs on oil. Stop oil production and you stop the world, and that's when I want to get off. When  the armies of Montgomery and Rommel were hurtling towards each other in North Africa during World War 2 they were going hell for leather to secure the oil fields. Oil pipelines stretch across half the world covering hundreds, nay, thousand of miles, from Russia to Alaska to the Middle East. The world's economy runs on oil. If there's no oil the world's economy collapses.

"We stand here today as nothing more than a representative of the millions of our people who dared to rise up against a social system whose very essence is war, violence, racism, oppression, repression and the impoverishment of an entire people."  Excerpt from the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

You can't put gold or silver in a petrol tank. So, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that he who controls the oil controls the world, and that, quite simply, is where it's at. America must be very, very, careful, and let me tell you why, and this comes from the grass roots. Some people love America, others hate it. America, that great refuge for the weary, the tired, the hungry, the opressed, is now being eyed with great suspicion by the rest of the world. People are becoming afraid of America, not just it's enemies, but also it's allies, and that is a very sad thing. Call it paranoia if you will, but paranoia is often a symptom of a hidden but very real danger or threat. When you are the most powerful nation on earth and you decide to act, or threaten to act, unilaterally on an issue such as the invasion of another country you'd better make sure you have your facts straight, and you better make sure that you tell the truth to the people concerning your justication for taking such action. The United Kingdom likewise. There in that sentence burns the truth. You must never attempt to pull the wool over the people's eyes on such an issue. For the people, by the people etc etc etc. that's what government is about, Abraham Lincoln said that. If Tony Blair goes down at the next election it will be for one very specific reason. It won't be for raising taxes, though to my mind he should go down for that alone. That was something he promised would never happen, now look at it , 50 new taxes introduced since his government came to power. He'll most certainly get credit for having helped get rid of Saddam, and share in the glory of his capture, millions will agree with him that thousands of lives have been saved by the expulsion of that monster, and that Iraq and the world is better off without him and his kind, but just one thing may bring him and the labour government down. The 45 minute warning bit. There are many unanswered questions surrounding the Iraq situation and the weapons of mass destruction. No matter what benefits are obtained from an action such as the invasion of Iraq, the fact that the British people were misled over the 45 minute question is what that whole episode and the trust of the British people hinges upon, and the British public know it. Another point that won't go away is : Who supplied Saddam with the weapons of mass destruction or the material to create them in the first place, and why ? So far America is accused of being the main supplier but Germany, France and Britain have been implicated too. I 'd like to know a bit more about that situation. The whole world would like to know.  Right, I've got that off my chest, now back to Madiba and South Africa and how She's being treated by the World Community. Shakespeare said " The quality of mercy is not strained" - meaning put through a sieve. Like mercy, justice should not be given in short measure. Nor Love. Nor compassion.  In today's World these are all given in short measure, especially by the developed 1'st World countries and how they assist or rather don't assist the 3rdWorld developing countries. Here, I'm talking  about Africa in general, and South Africa specifically, because that's where I live and experience the problems, discussions, excuses and arguments regarding the rich nations of this planet and how they devour more than their share of the cake. America and Europe are issuing health warnings to their populations regarding gross obesity while millions are starving. Rwanda will not be swept under the carpet.That dreadful episode which Sir Peter Ustinov described as " A scab on the face of the World ", is indeed that. A very sad, deplorable, shameful episode, and one that I can only liken  to the The Holocaust. And the "Civilised World" let it happen. They literally let it happen !!!!


Rwandan genocide Murambi bodies. Unearthed Mass Grave.

The Rwandan Genocide was the massacre of an estimated 800,000 to 1,071,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda, mostly carried out by two extremist Hutu militia groups, the Interahamwe and the Impuzamugambi, during a period of 100 days from April 6th through mid-July 1994.

For many, the Rwandan Genocide stands out as historically significant, not only because of the sheer number of people murdered in such a short period of time, but also because of how inadequately the United Nations (particularly, its Western members such as the U.S. and France) responded (or failed to respond) to or were even complicit in the atrocities. Despite intelligence provided before the killing began, and international news media coverage reflecting the true scale of violence as the Genocide unfolded, most first-world countries including the United States declined to intervene or even speak out against the planned massacres.

The United Nations established UNAMIR (United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda), in October 1993 "to help implement the Arusha Peace Agreement signed by the Rwandan parties on 4 August 1993"; its "mandate" ended in 1996 (UNAMIR official website). Prior to and during those horrific 100 days in 1994, the UN did not authorize UNAMIR to intervene and to use force quickly and/or effectively enough to halt the killing and other atrocities in Rwanda. While it "adjusted" UNAMIR's "mandate and strength . . . on a number of occasions in the face of the tragic events of the genocide and the changing situation in the country" (official website), given UN Security Council policy and various procedural constraints and other limitations imposed on UNAMIR, the United Nations failed to prevent the Genocide.

In the weeks prior to the attacks, the UN did not respond to reports of Hutu militias amassing weapons and rejected plans for a pre-emptive interdiction. Despite numerous pre- and present-conflict warnings by Canadian Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, the United Nations insisted on maintaining its rules of engagement and preventing its peacekeepers on the ground from engaging the militias or discharging their weapons, except in self-defense. Such failure to intervene in a timely and effective manner to halt the killing became the focus of bitter recriminations toward the United Nations, Western countries such as France and the United States, and individual policymakers, including Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh and President Clinton, who described US inaction as "the biggest regret of my administration."[1]

The Genocide in Rwanda ended when the Tutsi-dominated expatriate rebel movement known as the Rwandan Patriotic Front, led by Paul Kagame, overthrew the Hutu government and seized power. Fearing reprisals, hundreds of thousands of Hutu genocidaires and other refugees fled into eastern Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The violence and its memory have continued to affect the country and the region. Ethnic hatreds that fuelled the Rwandan Genocide quickly spilled over into Congo, continuing after it ended and fuelling both the First and Second Congo Wars. Ethnic rivalry between Hutu and Tutsi tribal factions is also a major factor in the Burundi Civil War. The current Darfur conflict recalls the sorry role of the international community in the Rwandan Genocide, leading some to fear its inability to prevent further massive loss of life and misery in the Sudan and elsewhere in Africa.


Kofi Annan stated that " more could have been done and should have been done". Indeed it could have and should have. That episode showed just how toothless the United Nations has become. If you want to get hip to just what was going on at that time, go to your search engine and type in the name " Roger Dallaire". He's the gentleman who was left stranded in Rwanda with a handful of UN troops when The Tutus and the Hutus were involved in that indescribable orgy of inter-tribal  war, the results of which  were near Genocide. Eight Hundred Thousand people, men, women, and children, died in that hell of mass execution.. Shame on you World. Shame on You.  J'accuse. If you're wondering what all this has to do with Nelson Mandela and South Africa,  let me remind you. Mr Mandela's loud and urgent cry is, always, for that most precious thing on this planet, the welfare of Humanity. Wherever. Eight Hundred Thousand souls were treated just as if they were unwanted, unecessary, and useless garbage. He who forgets history, OR DELIBERATELY IGNORES IT,  is bound to repeat it. That's a fact.

This is what the world is throwing away
There are now 11,000,000 people on the brink of starvation in Africa.
Cherie Blair spent 275 pounds sterling per day having her hair done. Think about it.

"Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts."   NELSON MANDELA.    (to be continued)

all articles (c) JoeMoretti music International