All around the globe people are talking about one man these days, Nelson Mandela. Old «Madiba» (the name of the clan of which Mandela was a member) died on 5th of December, 95 years old. The famous freedom fighter and symbol of the struggle against apartheid rule in South-Africa got his rest from months of illness. But the world and the corrupt leadership of his country will not give him rest. On the contrary, they use him in a way that is over ceding even the levels of idolizing in other cases known before. The double standard of the West is shining in a bad color, a color of darkness. The history has been shadowed by the grey area of lies, hiding of truth and negligence. Never ever have the West admitted the very strong support for the apartheid system for ages when it was in their interests. The same with Norway, who at the same time supported the anti-apartheid struggle, gave billions of dollars in revenue to the apartheid cronies in large quantities of shipment of crude oil with Norwegian tankers in the 1970s and 80s. In those years it was first and foremost forces outside the established political spectrum who mobilized against apartheid. The alliance between trade unions, solidarity and church organizations had early demands for economic boycott of the regime, and Norwegian activists smuggled money into South-Africa to the ANC (African National Congress). It was not until 1987 that the Norwegian national assembly voted for boycott of the apartheid regime. The political right wing party “Framstegspartiet” (who is now in government coalition with the conservative party) voted against the boycott. In the 1970s this party actively supported the apartheid regime and saw Mandela as a terrorist. But now the current leader of this party celebrates Mandela as the symbol in the anti-apartheid struggle. What hypocrisy!
The same happened internationally. But here was the hypocrisy and double standards even higher than in Norway (is that possible? Oh, yes!). Both the reactionary president Reagan in the US and the reactionary prime minister Thatcher in the UK thought of Mandela as an dangerous communist and terrorist. His support for mass mobilization and armed struggle frightened them. Both countries supported the apartheid regime with weapons which enabled the regime to occupy Namibia, fight war in Angola and suppress the black population. Israel of course also supported apartheid, with intelligence and weapons. This western support prolonged the anti-apartheid struggle for years and the suffering of the black population was immense. The same support prolonged the war in Angola and the occupation of Namibia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Border_War). Cuban soldiers participated on the MPLA government side in Angola and it has been said that the Cubans was one of major factors for the South-African with drawl of troops in 1988 and the end of apartheid years later in South-Africa.
The “Nelson Mandela era” began soon after his release from Robin Island in 1990 and in 1994 he became South-Africa’s first black president. Mandela was first and foremost a symbol of the struggle and the “new” South-Africa. He was not mainly the great politician. In his 5 year term in office he created the atmosphere for the conciliation process together with Desmond Tutu and others. The political change that was supposed to be done was mainly run by the new government and the bureaucracy. This did not go to well and big reforms as land-rights, housing and health never got that bust it should have had. Some of Mandela’s biggest mistakes where that he withdraw from presidency after just 5 years in office and he never appointed any new candidate for the ANC. Now the country is “governed” by a corrupt leadership and nepotism is widespread. South-Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world, between rich and poor. Is this neo-liberal legacy something to be proud of?