Published On: Wed, Feb 12th, 2020

Mandela news: Great-granddaughter reveals what ex-SA leader would think about 2020 | World | News

Pumla Mandela, who read a poem at her great-grandfather’s memorial service, told BBC’s Radio 1 Newbeat that Mandela would be concerned by the state of the economy and politics in particular. She said: “I know he wouldn’t be 100 percent happy but I also know he predicted a lot of what is happening right now. “He’d be unhappy with the level of unemployment, gender-based violence and the state of leadership in our country.”

26-year-old Pumela also offered some rarely glimpsed insights into the private persona of her great-grandfather.

While Mandela is a heroic figure for many, representing a symbol of triumph over repression, to Pumela he was just part of the family.

She described him as a “disciplinarian” who was often engrossed in his newspapers.

She explained: “He was the man who was always reading newspapers or that we’d have lunch with with.

“I’d be having conversations with my younger cousins and he’d always be silently listening and observing.

“We always thought he pretended to have hearing problems. He would pick and choose.”

She added: “Sometimes you’d have to speak loudly and sometimes you’d be speaking softly and he’d just input.

“He was a disciplinarian. He was very strict.”

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He also helped to set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, that allowed South Africans to confront their painful history and the myriad number of injustices committed under the apartheid system.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the chairman of the Commission, issued a statement to mark the 30th anniversary of Mandela’s release.

He wrote: ““Nelson Mandela emerged from prison to dazzle South Africa and the world with his warmth and human values.

“Circumstances and priorities change over time, but good values don’t go out of fashion.

“We miss him. Love and blessings.”

South Africa’s current President, Cyril Ramaphosa, described Mandela’s freedom from incarceration as “a defining moment in our onward march toward democracy”.

The President acknowledged that the country had much to do to secure and build on the legacy of South Africa’s first ever black President.

He said: “Inequality, especially as defined by race and gender, remains among the highest in the world.

“Unemployment is deepening and poverty is widespread. Violence, including the violence that men perpetrate against women, continues to ravage our communities.”

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