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After Desmond Tutu, the time of the new South African heroes


The last of South Africa’s most iconic heroes is buried a week after the national funeral

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the last person in the world since South Africa taught the world what courage and reconciliation can achieve.

The last generation of moral heroes – men and women who, in the 1980s and 1990s, led a turbulent, traumatized country from the brutality of apartheid and civil war.

After the departure of Desmond Tutu, South Africa finds itself without leadership or leadership, but unstable, in the long run, from the age of majority.

The distinction between periods of sacrifice and glory, and the fragile nature of modern politics can be clearly seen.

The country that Tutu leaves behind is a difficult one, plagued by a severe economic crisis, due to unemployment and enduring inequality, as well as being controlled by the old liberal party, the African National Congress (ANC), which is at war.

Tutu was too weak to talk about the political violence that erupted in July this year – with supporters of former President Jacob Zuma facing jail for contempt of court. trigger an attempted attack.

But the Archbishop, over the years, has clearly expressed his frustration with the ANC and his commitment to the fragmentation process. People around her expressed concern that much of her hard-earned money had been wasted.

South African and Nobel Peace Prize activist and Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu took action in protesting the rights of anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress (ANC) member Nelson Mandela, on February 10, 1990 at his home in Soweto.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu happy as fellow anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990.

Disappointment is, perhaps inevitably, the price paid to live a long life.

Not surprisingly, some prominent people in the ANC have chosen to remain silent in recent days, instead of joining those who pay homage to a man who has long accused them of being “worse than the apartheid government” – some men among them. chose to ignore or mock, or simply be told to “keep quiet”.

But this week, some have chosen to retaliate and attack Tutu – on television, in particular, as “trafficked,” as someone who puts reconciliation ahead of justice, white supremacy. the needs of most black people. The accusation is not uncommon. But it is important to be aware.

For years, some politicians have sought to exploit the plight of poor South Africans – who have benefited a little from democracy and the years of economic development – by accusing Tutu and Nelson Mandela of hastily dissenting from apartheid leaders and business leaders. .

They criticize the two men for helping white South Africans keep their ill-gotten gains, as well as executed apartheid gangs to enjoy their respite.

In short, they accused Tutu of selling too much of the concept of the “rainbow color” – a term that inspired and encouraged.

Photo by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, 2021.

Desmond Tutu’s detractors accused him of selling off the idea of ​​a “rainbow color”.

The case is being debated in South Africa.

But it does have a direct impact on both Tutu and Mandela as leaders – on their remarkable potential, needed in the difficult and tragic years ahead and in the fall of apartheid, bringing people together and achieving global interests. Mandela relied on some simple, intellectual beauty.

Tutu’s appeal relied on more humor, organized and prepared to show danger and serious concern.

He instructed the conference delegates, urging them to meet together “to read each other’s books, before we give birth,” while others read aloud live in other South African cities. And Tutu wept openly, in the mid-1990s, at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which he led, expressing grief and suffering for the millions of people who watch on television as daily revelations of torture and ill-treatment. anti-apartheid protections emerged.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu wipes away tears at TRC meetings

Tutu was often involved in confusing evidence at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The TRC was imperfect – and was opposed by many in the ANC, including Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was found to be in trouble. he made serious mistakes and he saw that he was unjustly like those who oppressed him for this reason. But it was part of a healing process that was considered important at the time and would have been possible without Tutu present.

In short, what Tutu and Mandela had, in abundance, was beautiful. And, followed in various ways, the charm was essential to South Africa’s journey and its success. As was the case with the tolerance created in the brutal negotiations that enabled the country to avoid a civil war.

Those who now want to rewrite history, meaninglessness, and inherit Tutu’s heritage are few.

But it is also true that, especially in their later years, both Tutu and Mandela – very close, united – became global mascots of tolerance and forgiveness.

And it is easy to see why some South Africans might feel uncomfortable, even angry, over the fact that these men – fierce and unconventional heroes – have been transformed into advocates of the “rainbow habit,” to be freed, shaved. of their righteous indignation, for pleasing Western peoples, rock stars and kings.

The truth is that Tutu was a lot of different things to most people. In death he is mentioned, and condemned, as was Mandela. That is the nature of the image.

But what about Tutu’s legacy in South Africa today, a whole generation after helping to lead the country to democracy?

Most of the time has passed since those difficult days. Does it make sense even to contemplate what it means for a nation to be separated from the moral leaders of the past?

Archbishop and Honorary Elders of South Africa Desmond Tutu (R) shakes hands with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) and South African President Jacob Zuma (C) at a memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium (Soccer) City) in Johannesburg on December 10, 2013.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has not changed his mind when he criticizes the governments of former President Jacob Zuma (C) and Thabo Mbeki.

Like Mandela, Tutu will never be forgotten. He will continue to live as an example and an encouragement to countless others. Of course, that is enough.

And it would be a difficult thing to say, or criticize, at a time when many are mourning his death, and celebrating his happy, prayerful, wonderful life, but it would not be so bad that South Africa is closing in on nothing more. title in its combat history, but the entire book.

Why? Because it may be time, as political commentator Eusebius McKaiser told me, for South Africa to find “another kind of hero – a tired hero”.

In this age of political and economic crises, the world needs someone who can change and focus on the past instead of encouraging people to look – and find answers – to today’s technological crisis.

Above all, there is the urgent task of building and restoring wealth that can lift millions out of poverty and make the Tutu rainbow a reality that he always insisted it could be.

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