Nelson Mandela, as you may have heard, is dead. In the midst of the phony-crywank festival, I was struck by the complete absence from people’s discussion of any reflection on the state of South Africa today, and the real legacy of this now much celebrated one time terrorist.
People seemed completely unaware of the degree to which Mandela’s biggest victory – gaining for his people the pretense of political rights – came through accommodating the powerful business interests that denied their economic rights.
I had a play on this great data tool at the UNDP website, and compared the great man’s legacy with that of more militant, less celebrated, 20th century nationalist leaders like Castro, Ho Chi Min and Khomeini. I used adult female mortality since I figured that’s a measure no one could say was ambiguous or unimportant. He looses. They win. Don’t let that spoil the moment though guys, it’s not like you actually care about Africans.
::::UPDATE:::: – SAT 7 Dec 13