The heading of this article reminds me of “to be or not to be” passage in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in which Hamlet is musing on the comparison between the pain of life which he sees as inevitable and the fear of the uncertainty of death and of possible damnation of suicide. Nelson Mandela has indeed caused us the pain of life to the extent that perhaps some people are contemplating suicide.
The gist of Youngster’s article (“How Mandela sold out Blacks”) in a recent edition of one of South Africa’s dailies, that Nelson Mandela sold us out, is true. Youngster should have written his name and not hide under the veil of anonymity. Mandela did not start negotiating with representatives of the Apartheid government in 1985 as some people seem to think. He was released from Robben Island in 1981 alone and taken to Pollsmore Prison where he was bought new shoes and a suit was cut for him. He was removed from other political prisoners including those he was close to like Walter Sisulu and other Rivonia treason trialists. It was in 1981 that the process of secret talks and negotiations started in smoke-filled rooms where there was horse-trading.