I’ve taken a fairly jaundiced view of Mandela Day over the years, largely because of my scepticism about how Nelson Mandela the icon (rather than Nelson Mandela the historical figure) has been used, re-used, misrepresented and appropriated to a thousand purposes more or less anathema to the man and his mission.

So I was inclined to agree with Rebecca Davis when, writing for Daily Maverick after the sabotage and looting that brought KwaZulu-Natal to its knees, she opined: “Please don’t talk to me about Mandela right now.”..

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