Nelson Mandela Family and the Tribal Conflict


South Africa – Is the entire Nelson Mandela health disaster turning into a tribal conflict? A need for careful reflection about how the Xhosa and Zulu tribal differences gather momentum through the media is required. In light of the Xhosa AbaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo telling Zuma, “Go to hell”. Not stopping there, the king told him in a forceful tone, to stay out of royal affairs.

This is an embarrassing moment for South Africa, the government, the Mandela family and the citizens, as the truth surrounding Nelson Mandela remains a mystery. The Mandela family has appeared to downplay the king’s outburst recently, and this could be a smart move on their part. The government is avoiding commenting on this issue, or perhaps waiting for the right moment to strike.

The insults and comments of how rude people are toward Zuma seem to attract a massive public outcry from Nelson Mandela followers. The rancor between comments has left the public displaying a more intense interest to the spat between the Xhosa King and president Zuma than concern for Mandela’s health speculation. Perhaps this is a temporary reprieve from the same message given each day, “Quiet outside the hospital. Mandela remains critical but stable.”

Could a looming show down between the different cultures be on the horizon? The intensity of the battle of words between the president and the tribal king could remain unresolved and rush into another outburst from the king, and for that reason alone Zuma has not officially responded. There have been reports that the king is delusional, and not to be taken serious, although we could say the same of Zuma. He continues with one lie after another, particularly with reference to updates on Mandela’s thirty-second day in intensive care.

The Zulus are the largest ethnic group in South Africa and known for their pride, strength and endurance. The warrior tribe under the king Shaka endured many battles since the 1800’s. Conflicts during the 1970’s with the ANC ruling party are not to be forgotten. The great Zulu body and its colorful history tells of the strength and endurance. The Zulu tribe remain strong warriors, with a rich history of diversity, strong cultural beliefs, courage and determination.

We have the dignified Xhosa clan, which is divided into several tribes each with a distinct heritage. The Mpondo clan is the largest within the Xhosa tribe. Thus, the Xhosa’s remain the second largest ethnic group in South Africa. They occupy the majority of the eastern part of Southern African and were a well-established clan prior to the Dutch arrival during the 1700s. Many bitter wars between the Xhosa and the Dutch were fought. Xhosa is the second most commonly spoken language in the Zulu nation. The Xhosa clan remain a brave and ardent culture, reflecting richly on the traditions of the past.

With the redemption of freedom, power and wealth changes began to appear within the different cultures. Now blinded by greed and arrogant attitudes, the power struggle will begin again.

It is evident that since Mandela was admitted to hospital on June 8 some of the Mandela family members, together with the ANC government, control the manipulation of the media. They continue to generate a patronizing attitude toward the people of South Africa by allowing this shameful behavior to continue.

The power and greed are visible, but most disturbing is the disrespect of a remarkable man, Nelson Mandela. There is no expression of truth or dignity as both government and the Mandela family maintain their public outbursts. The current cultural conflict within the most prominent family of South Africa must end amicably. South Africa does not need a revolution or tribal conflict. A peaceful resolve to this matter and continuing with the legacy of Nelson Mandela would start a revolution of education within South Africa.

Written by Laura Oneale

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