In spite of heartfelt speeches some right-wingers may have given regarding Nelson Mandela, “we mustn’t let those who opposed Mandela’s struggle pretend they didn’t”.
Many Western party leaders “described his organisation as terrorist”, believed sanctions were wrong, and “wore T-shirts demanding he be strung up”.
Botha’s regime was more than racist. It didn’t even regard black people as humans. This apartheid system was propped up by the Tories.
In 1989, David Cameron “went on a “jolly” to South Africa paid for by a firm that did not want sanctions busted”. In 2006, he denounced the Conservative stance on the ANC and the apartheid regime. However, this cynical move was seen to come way too late for all of those “who had seen [or suffered] the massacres in the townships and knew it was a life-or-death struggle”.
Under Thatcher’s reign, anti-apartheid demos outside the South African embassy saw protesters kettled, just as they are today when protesting other injustices. The struggle against apartheid represents the struggle against all injustice around the world, and the bourgeoisie, represented by the undemocratic parties that govern the UK and other Western nations, will never give up their power freely. True freedom fighters, like Mandela, are needed to raise the awareness necessary to make sure that the workers of the world unite and overthrow their exploitative masters. Just as he was criticised, and his supporters treated as troublemakers, activists today are also censured, condemned, or ignored in the media or by the political establishment. However, Mandela is proof that staying resolute and sticking to principles of freedom, truth, and justice can eventually pay off. What we need to do is make sure that his image is not watered down and assumed by bourgeois politicians who represent the system he fought against.