2017-07-18 09:24:08 AM

Art & Culture

The Legacy of Nelson Mandela    Share

One of Madiba’s lasting legacies is his capacity to lead opposing groups to reach morally acceptable compromises Nowhere was this more evident than during our transition to a democracy more than two decades ago.

Thanks to his influence, South Africans averted a full-blown civil war and instead achieved a compromise that paved the way for the establishment of a democracy based on a Constitution with a Bill of Rights.

Some people do not like the word compromise.

That is unfortunate because the word has positive potential.

Compromise literally means that we together (com) promise.

We promise that, although we settle now for less than the ideal, we will work together to the ideal; although all of us settle now for second prize for all, we are committed to work towards the first prize for all.

Madiba helped us to make promises together as South Africans, to make communal commitments.

The first prize South Africans work for is described in the type of life envisaged in the Bill of Rights.

We are namely committed to building a society where there is inalienable dignity for all, with its four constituent features of the healing of the wounds of all South Africans, embracive justice for all, responsible freedom for all, equality of worth and esteem for all Leaders like Madiba helped us to embrace this vision of dignity as our communal first prize, and to work together towards the fulfilment of that vision For the sake of the most vulnerable and wronged in our societies, the materialisation of this first prize of a life of dignity for all is a non-negotiable priority If the poor and the marginalised is not prioritised in our joint efforts as a nation, the compromise made more than two decades ago is morally questionable The credibility of this compromise under Nelson Mandela’s leadership, as well as the credibility of Madiba himself, is at stake in how we work towards fulfilling the vision of dignity for all To honour Mandela truthfully is to work towards a life of dignity for all, especially for the poor and marginalised, the vulnerable and wronged