12 December 2013

South Africa: Mandela Memorial - Mbeki Urges a Questioning of Leadership


The memorial for Nelson Mandela at Midrand's Calvary Methodist Church started like most others. Dark clouds descended and the rain fell. Anti-Apartheid activist and former Commission on Gender Equality chair Joyce Piliso-Seroke gave a warm anecdote of her time with Madiba.

Former President Thabo Mbeki, however, changed the script. It's time to question the country's leadership, he said. No prizes for guessing who he is talking about.

Piliso-Seroke gave the tribute so missing at Tuesday's memorial service. Speaking at the Calvary Church, perched on a Midrand hill perfect for watching the clouds of rain rolling in, she said she first met Mandela in February 1990. Her daughter Michelle had been accepted to the University of Cape Town and begged her mother to accompany her during the admissions process. Piliso-Seroke wanted to be in Jo'burg. Political prisoners were being released; protests were afoot; she wanted to be a part of it.

Against her will, Piliso-Seroke accompanied her daughter and they decided to accept an invitation to stay at Archbishop Desmond Tutu's home in Bishopscourt. "Put your bags down and help me prepare the house and cook dinner because Madiba will be sleeping here tonight," Tutu's housekeeper told them...

Copyright © 2013 Daily Maverick. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.