Desmond Tutu excluded from Mandela funeral by ANC
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The South African government has disgraced itself yet again by excluding iconic campaigner Desmond Tutu from Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Demonstrating just how unworthy it is of Nelson Mandela’s legacy, they have displayed extraordinary pettiness in their attempt to marginalise the former Archbishop at such a time.
Tutu, one of Mandela’s most prominent allies in the anti apartheid movement has proved himself a vocal critic of the current ANC leadership. Dismayed by the lurch towards casual corruption, wholesale venality and political indolence, he has gone so far as to make unflattering comparisons between the current ANC government and the apartheid regime, saying "one day we will pray for the defeat of the ANC government".
Tutu’s own legacy is cast in very much the same mould as Madiba’s, preaching peace during the reconciliation process and preaching social justice ever since. Jacob Zuma and his cohorts may want to be rid of this turbulent priest, but judging by the President’s less than warm reception on Tuesday when a chorus of boos rang out, Tutu is yet again on the right side of history.
Both his personal and political relationship with Nelson Mandela would see Tutu at the head of any guest list, certainly long before a roll call of preening politicians. Edged out of the celebration on Tuesday, he was finally offered the chance to speak after the event, to an empty stadium, while foreign leaders made political capital, a rogue interpreter disgraced a deaf minority and Jacob Zuma began to grasp how he would be remembered. And now it would seem, he will not be attending the funeral at all. The ANC, unsurprisingly were reluctant to comment
If Mandela’s funeral should represent anything it should be unity. It beggars belief that the celebration of a life that was defined by forgiveness and reconciliation should be marred by such cheap spite. But then it is becoming increasingly apparent that South Africa is mourning far more than one man and its own liberation. It is mourning lost hope, lost opportunity and the tarnishing of a once touched dream