Mandela: On The Other Hand

From 1997 New York Times:

"...South Africa's governing party admitted today that it used torture, executions, and land mines during its fight against apartheid, opening a new chapter in this country's efforts to come to terms with its past.

Senior officials of the African National Congress also said they could have done far more to stop the gruesome practice in the black townships of ''necklacing'' people suspected of cooperating with the South African security forces. Such people were pinned inside a car tire, doused in gasoline, set on fire and left to die.

Party officials had long resisted appearing before the commission, saying their actions were excusable because they had been fighting a ''just war.'' Today's testimony before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission represented a major step toward holding the winners in the struggle against the white apartheid Government accountable for their share of atrocities...."

"...Last year Archbishop Tutu told President Mandela that he would resign unless A.N.C. members recognized that they had committed gross violations of human rights and needed to apply for amnesty.

The Congress appeared before the commission last August, but at that time it made only a formal written submission. This time, the party also submitted another 139 pages of written testimony before answering questions. The testimony includes 33 pages of responses and requests for elaboration by the Truth Commission, including more details on deaths at the Congress's bases in Angola, the use of land mines in border areas and details about 15 Congress members who were executed for spying and mutiny.In submitting testimony to the commission, the Congress said it would take responsibility for 500 bombings over 11 years, and perhaps for another 95, but it could not be sure of the precise number...."

Mandela knew of the atrocities.

No one is perfect. Which is why we should always be careful how much praise a man.

So by all means, raise a statue. Gloss over the ugly parts. You'll do so knowing full well innocent people paid a price.

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