Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The day South Africa hung its head in shame...

As a South African it is our duty and responsibility to be proud of our nation and its leaders, that said i never thought that the day would come that i would admit to being ashamed of my own country. Yet that day has come, on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 the world watched as we remembered a fallen hero. A man that inspired a planet and led us as South Africans to a rainbow nation, Nelson Mandela or as we knew him Madiba.

Dignitaries from all over attended and praised Madiba for all the work he has done over his long and amazing lifetime. A country in morning sat riveted and watched as one after the other praised Madiba with the utmost respect and gave emotional, heartfelt speeches. The heavens opened up earlier in the morning yet supporters sat and listened with respect and a profound sense of loss. As President Barak Obama took the podium he was greeted with a resounding roar as the crowed cheered for him, what was to follow was in my opinion of the most heartfelt and emotional speeches of the day.

When US President Barack Obama took to the stage at a soaked FNB Stadium this afternoon, his speech brought both world leaders and ordinary South Africans to their feet. Here are the 10 key moments from that speech:

1. Obama started by honoring ordinary South Africans, a tip of the hat that was well received in the stands.
“His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy,” he told the crowd.

2. He noted that Mandela, despite his status as a global icon, always considered himself as just a man – a gentle reminder well received by South Africans who recognize and often embrace Mandela’s flaws as much as they celebrate his strengths.
Obama shared one of Mandela’s most famous quotes: “I’m not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”

3. He offered a shout out to other struggle icons, and the ANC, acknowledging Mandela’s status as a hero alongside other heroes and a stalwart of the organisation: “But like other early giants of the ANC – the Sisulus and Tambos – Madiba disciplined his anger; and channelled his desire to fight into organisation, and platforms, and strategies for action, so men and women could stand up for their dignity.”

4. He gently reminded us that Mandela’s fight was for a multiracial society, invoking one of the statesman’s most famous statements at the Rivonia Trial: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I’ve cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

5. He used just the right language – towards the end of his speech, the US president spoke of “Ubuntu”, to a rousing cheer from the cold, damp crowd.

6. He picked key moments in Mandela’s presidency carefully, mentioning Mandela’s role as sporting icon and unifier (“taking to the pitch in a Springbok uniform”) and a man not afraid to speak against the tide (“turning his family’s heartbreak into a call to confront HIV/AIDS”).

7. He turned the focus back to ordinary people, asking how Mandela’s lessons could be applied every day.

8. After President Jacob Zuma’s chilly reception from sections of the crowd, Obama took a dig at “leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people”.

9. He sneaked in a little well-timed humility: “Over 30 years ago, while still a student, I learnt of Mandela and the struggles in this land. It stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities – to others, and to myself – and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be better.” Cue rousing cheers from the crowd.

10. Obama wrapped up with a little populism, throwing in this quote from what’s widely acknowledged as Mandela’s favorite poem, Invictus: “It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

With a few other dignitaries following President Obama in honoring Madiba it eventually got to the point where South Africa would get to hear from its own President Jakob Zuma to deliver his emotional memorial to his great friend, Madiba...

What we got was not a heartfelt emotional tribute to Madiba at all, infact it was the most cold hearted speech i have ever heard. Zuma showed no emotion at all, it was as if he was reading from a wikipedia page about Madiba. NO personal feelings, no moment together, just a robot reading a badly written speech, a speech he probably did not even see before he got to the podium. A nation sat in shocked as they watched the spectacle that was our president yet nothing could have prepared us for what was to follow.

South africa woke up to the news that one of the enterpretors was a fake, the whole world watched as a man that can not even understand sign language made up crap as he "translated"
This is some of the responses...

As South Africans we feel humiliated and ashamed and it is all the work of the government, the same people that is suppose to make us feel protected. Yes the crowd did boo President Zuma but in all fairness he deserved every single boo he got, he is an embarrassment for us as the people that live here! The Local government wants to have all footage of Zuma being boo'd banned from being broadcast because its humiliating for him, no the humiliation came from Zuma himself, the damage has been done, you cant make people unsee something simply because you made an idiot of yourself.

Maybe its time for Zuma to go and hide in his R210 million Nkandla scandal!
A petition has been started to impeach President Jacob Zuma over his involvement in the Nkandla scandal and it can be found here.

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