South Africa – Over the past few days, since this publication announced the death of Nelson Mandela to the world, there remains strong contrasting criticism of the reports. Why do people have so much difficulty accepting the truth?
It remains unclear why the South African government would not announce Mandela’s death, but it was likely due to the imminent arrival of President Barack Obama. Nelson Mandela is a global icon and highly respected; news of his death would completely overshadow President Obama’s visit, which has significant implications for the South African economy and future partnerships. Less understandable is why the death of Mandela is accompanied by such disbelief for the majority of people.
Here in South Africa, there are people who believe Mandela has passed on, and then there are the conservative ones that cannot accept his demise.
Nelson Mandela will always be remembered, and his legacy will be passed down to future generations. We seem to forget that other prominent people have died, and are still remembered for their tremendous contribution to the world; Mother Theresa for example. If any one person qualified as a saint, she would head they list.
It is clear that the people of South Africa see Nelson Mandela as a savior and do not want to lose him. They want him to be immortal and live forever. As for his family, they deserve privacy and time to deal with their loss. The public is not giving them either, and it is not easy to understand why there is so much difficulty in accepting the truth and letting him go.
We need to move forward, recognize the inevitably, and use our time wisely.
The amount of exposure focused around Nelson Mandela is overshadowing the present and equally pressing issues that need to be reported. When other famous people died, there was a reasonable amount of media frenzy and reliable reports, both accurate and informative, were announced for the public to accept and respect. Other ANC icons who played equally prominent roles in the struggle for freedom have passed, such as Oliver Tambo and Chris Hani, among others, and reports of their demise were low-key and respectful.
Reporting on the possible demise of Mandela, on the other hand, remains a global event; recent reports of his funeral arrangements, which appear to be scripted and presented like a movie scene, feel disturbingly familiar; bringing to mind the death of Princess Diana, another iconic, worldly figure. The funeral plans for Nelson Mandela will extend over a 10 to 12 day period.
The rumours and speculation about which media outlet has received the exclusive rights to film the funeral, and which family member might have profited from that decision, are rife. People will speak out about these issues; freedom of speech mandates necessity that their voices be heard.
After all, South Africa is a democratic country.
Reading comments posted by the public from worldwide internet news sites, and social networking sites over the last few days, certainly reminds us how crazy our society has become. Jacob Zuma is the President of South Africa. South Africans do not believe their President, and the remarks he posted are highly questionable. It makes perfect sense that people are having difficulty accepting the truth of Nelson Mandela’s passing.
Written by Laura Oneale