Amid the Government declaring two days of mourning for South African liberation icon and former President Nelson Mandela and President Mahinda Rajapaksa‘s attendance at the Johannesburg memorial service, the Government controlled press has referred to him as an appeaser of the whites and says the claims have more than a smidgen of truth.
“They feel that he sold out the anti-apartheid cause, and replaced social apartheid with a form of economic apartheid, as he did not agitate for the return of the farms that had been established by whites in land that had been stolen from black South Africans,” the editorial said.
The state media editorial also goes on to say that these claimants also feel that he sold out the blacks as he, through the so called reconciliation process, gave a blanket reprieve for whites to get away with their apartheid era crimes and with the ‘booty’ — the land that they acquired in the process of so called settler-colonization.
“They also say that Mandela probably cut a deal with the white South African apartheid regime, to be gentle with the white South Africans in exchange for their being able to keep the lands, and not having to pay for their crimes,” it read.
“There is no doubt more than a smidgen of truth to some of these allegations. But, the fact remains also that Mr. Mandela perhaps could not have done any better,” the editor says.
Meanwhile in an editorial on December 10, Abeynayake calls the much hailed South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission nothing but a sham to appease White perpetrators of apartheid because they ran the economy. “In South Africa it was the whites they wanted to please, in Sri Lanka it is the diaspora LTTE rump that is targeted for pacification. In South Africa there was good reason to appease the white perpetrators of apartheid; after all they ran the economy and therefore it was a matter of practicality as well. In Sri Lanka with no such considerations can’t we please get past this pantomime of pseudo-reconciliation and get to the task of nation building which had been on inordinate, extended hold?” Abeynayake asks in his December 10 editorial.
Abeynayake said the TRC was a result of Mandela being forced to appease many forces. “The Western led governments no doubt helped him with sanctions against the apartheid regime and obviously those came at a price. In short, at their behest, the ANC leader came up with the TRC as a means of a smooth transition in which there was no damage done to white people’s reputations, or their property or selves,” the editorial reads.
So it was in that sense not ‘truth and reconciliation’ that took place, it was the exact opposite; the papering-over of the truth and pragmatic, almost cynical accommodation, mainly because the loser in the confrontation in South Africa over apartheid, was somehow curiously also the stronger partner in many ways in the South African ‘rainbow’ state that ensued, the Daily News said in its Tuesday editorial.