In the wake of Nelson Mandela’s death, hosannas continue to be sung to the former ANC leader and South African president from both the left, for his role in ending the institutional racism of apartheid, and from the right, for ostensibly the same reason. But the right’s embrace of Mandela as an anti-racist hero doesn’t ring true. Is there another reason establishment media and mainstream politicians are as Mandela-crazy as the left?

According to Doug Saunders, reporter for the unabashedly big business-promoting Canadian daily, The Globe and Mail, there is.

In a December 6 article, “From revolutionary to economic manager: Mandela’s lesson in change,” Saunders writes that Mandela’s “great accomplishment” was to protect the South African economy as a sphere for exploitation by the white property-owning minority and Western corporate and financial elite from the rank-and-file demands for economic justice of the movement he led.

Saunders doesn’t put it in quite these terms, hiding the sectional interests of bond holders, land owners, and foreign investors behind Mandela’s embrace of “sound” principles of economic management, but the meaning is the same.

Saunders quotes Alec Russell, a Financial Times writer who explains that under Mandela, the ANC “proved a reliable steward of sub-Sahara Africa’s largest economy, embracing orthodox fiscal and monetary policies…” That is, Mandela made sure that the flow of profits from South African mines and agriculture into the coffers of foreign investors and the white business elite wasn’t interrupted by the implementation of the ANC’s economic justice program, with its calls for nationalizing the mines and redistributing land.

Instead, Mandela dismissed calls for economic justice as a “culture of entitlement” of which South Africans needed to rid themselves. That he managed to persuade them to do so meant that the peaceful digestion of profits by those at the top could continue uninterrupted.

But it was not Mandela’s betrayal of the ANC’s economic program that...CONTINUES...

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  • Caricom

    The answer is quite simple: Mandela protected the white Western European financial and political interests in South Africa at the expense of his own people to prevent massive bloodshed. Mugabe tried to work with these white Western Europeans for 20 years without success. Many of these large landholders of native lands were told to select one of the several farms that they owned to keep. The others would be turned over to the native people. The result? Sabatage of the equipment, poisoning of the water wells, killing the animals, etc. Also, in some cases, point blank refusal to comply. Finally, Mugabe told the whites to either comply of be expelled from the country. An international uproar resulted, with Mugabe being depicted in the media as insane, brutal and inflexible.

    This is the typical white Western European method of dealing with any black man who stands up to them - project their savagery, and animalistic behavior onto their victims. However, the "Gentile Times" are coming to an end and Yah's people are nearing deliverance, which means deliverance for whites who want peace as well. Praise Yah, our deliverance is getting near and demise of this insane system is upon us. Shalom.

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