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Nelson Mandela with Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on May 10 1994. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Nelson Mandela with Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on May 10 1994. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

You can’t go a month without hearing a quote from SA’s most famous and forgiving statesman. Nelson Mandela had the wisdom of reconciliation and unity, and building a world that would yearn for peace and stop the hate.

Yet, on the anniversary of his death, Madiba’s quotes are being used to settle scores and create propaganda. They are used to mislead and to divide. This is counter to the spirit of our dear father of the nation sacrificed so many years ago to achieve.

We hear the famous “we can never be free until the Palestinians are free”. But if you watch the rest of that clip the quote goes on to recognise the right of Israel as a sovereign state to not only exist but also to exist in peace. It is a well-known fact that Mandela was friends with both Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin.

People are pulling Mandela’s good name into extreme and dark places where hatred, violence and division seem to be the only answer. The very same people also try to discount the fact that some of the so-called “Zionists” they wish to drive into the sea had a material and positive impact on Madiba’s life. Many are even part of the bricks and mortar that was the ANC.

On the anniversary of his passing it is my wish that Madiba finally gets his peace and people respect his right to a positive and clear legacy. It is also my wish that we urgently gain his wisdom and foresight to appreciate the value of life, human rights and justice.

May there be peace in the Middle East, and may we see the end of this war soon. Salam Alaikum.

Darren Bergman
Goodwood

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