Speaking on behalf of The One True Church®, his Eminence, Timothy Dolan, Cardinal Archibishop of New York, said:
Nelson Mandela was a hero to the world. His bravery in defending human rights against the great evil of apartheid made him a symbol of courage and dignity, as well as an inspiration to people everywhere. As Blessed Pope John Paul II noted during his visit to South Africa in 1995, Nelson Mandela was for many years, “a silent and suffering ‘witness’ of your people’s yearning for true liberation,” who, as President of South Africa, had to then “shoulder the burden of inspiring and challenging everyone to succeed in the task of national reconciliation and reconstruction.” In succeeding in these crucial and difficult tasks, Nelson Mandela truly made the world a better place.May he rest in peace.
When overthrowing an evil regime, you always need to ask yourself what will take its place. Are you simply replacing one dysfunctional system of injustice with another dysfunctional system of injustice. A few things I've read about Mandela and post-apartheid S. Africa:
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
-0.45% (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 222
17.36 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
total population: 49.48 yearscountry comparison to the world: 222male: 50.43 yearsfemale: 48.51 years (2013 est.)
17.8% (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 4 5.6 million (2009 est.) 310,000 (2009 est.)
total: 49.8%country comparison to the world: 5male: 45.4%female: 55% (2011)
While best known for his work in race equality as South Africa’s first black president, he also created the Rainbow Nation – a country where gay rights and marriage equality was enshrined in the constitution.
And so he ensured that the new South African Constitution specifically included sexual orientation and gender identity into its protections for all South Africans.
President Nelson Mandela has signed South Africa's new abortion bill, clearing the way for one of the world's toughest abortion laws to be replaced with one of the most liberal. The law gives girls of any age the sole right to decide whether to have an abortion.
The South African debate [i.e. physician-assisted suicide] began 15 years ago. President Nelson Mandela engaged the South African Law Commission to carry out a project addressing end-of-life decisions. The result was the proposed End of Life Decisions Act — a Bill that was tabled in Parliament in 2000 but did not get further than that.
South Africa has extremely high levels of sexual assault. "The prevalence of rape, and particularly multiple perpetrator rape … is unusually high," according to a 2012 report by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) thinktank.
South Africa has one of the most progressive sex offences acts in the world, a new version of which became effective in 2007, Lancaster points out. "It covers marital rape, consensual sexual acts involving a minor and even the making of pornography.
The 2012-13 statistics released Thursday are the worst in a decade, analysts said. The figures show increases in the crimes South Africans fear most: murder; attempted murder; violent, armed house robbery; and carjacking.The rise in the murder rate was slight, at 0.6%. But the number of attempted murders rose by 6.5%, violent house robberies by 3.6% and carjackings by 5.4%. Drug-related crime rose by 13.5% and truck hijackings by nearly 15%.South Africa has some of the world's highest rates of violent crime, with casualty figures mounting like those in a small war.
I really wish my friends would do their homework on Nelson Mandela before uncritically praising him as a moral hero. A man must be judged by all he did, not just for the parts we find praiseworthy.
Mandela worked to overthrow the government and wanted foreign militaries help the ANC take over the country. He was a communist so it's likely he wanted to help establish South Africa as a Soviet satellite. Whether that would have been better than apartheid I can't say. But let's not make Mandela out to be something he wasn't.
During the Rivonia trial, it came out that he advocated cutting off the noses of blacks viewed as traitors or white collaborators.
Also, why did Mandela turn a blind eye to the torture and execution of dissident members in training camps in Angola during the 1980s? (http://www.britannica.com/.../nelson-mandela-flawed-saint/) Do the ends justify the means when your enemies are on the wrong side?
He was the co-founder of the armed wing of the African National Congress and it's "commander in chief." That was a group that carried out real terrorist attacks against civilians throughout the 1980s. The ANC also routinely tortured prisoners at their detention camps. I don't recall the Founding Fathers doing anything like that.
Now it's true that Mandela was in prison during this time. But he was offered early release if he would renounce the use of violence and break links with the Communist Party. He refused. While his party was killing civilians, he was tacitly approving their actions. Why do you think Mandela was on the U.S.'s terrorism watch list until 2008?
If the ANC had never been involved in terrorist activities (and Mandela had openly condemned such attacks) then I might see the parallels with our Founding Fathers. But to me the more relevant comparison is to the PLO in Israel. Both the ANC and the PLO believed that the ends justified the means.
And it should be noted that it wasn't the violence of the ANC that led to the changes in South Africa. de Klerk was the one who extended the olive branch and ended white rule in the country.