Everyone wants a piece of Mandela

Loathe as I am to join the flood of material on Mandela after his recent death, it seems as though everyone wants a piece (and is able to get it) from Mandela. It is oddly reminiscent of the death of Tolstoy a little over 100 years ago. Conservatives, aristocrats, church leaders, liberals, anarchists, and socialists all sought to claim him as one of their own. So also with Mandela. In that light, I can’t help approving of this great piece by Tom Bramble in Red Flag (sent by CP). It begins:

The death of Nelson Mandela closes the life of a heroic resistance figure who devoted his very being to the struggle against apartheid even though this came at immense personal cost. Mandela was, also, however, the saviour of South African capitalism, which condemned so many of his countrymen and women to continuing terrible hardship even after the destruction of the apartheid regime. His broad popularity in South Africa, ranging from the pauper to the plutocrat, cannot be understood without comprehension of both these facts. (more here).


6 thoughts on “Everyone wants a piece of Mandela

    1. Thanks George. The puzzle is then why the South African Communist Party did not make this public.In Mandela’s case it is rather obvious, since it would have tainted his efforts to persuade big capital that the ANC was their friend.

      1. Thank you.

        Back in February 2012 Lewisham People Before Profit occupied five council houses that the Labour council planned to sell at auction (in affluent West London) to buy-to-let investors.


        In June 2012 the council agreed to bring the homes back into use afterall. They also said that they would refurbishing them using young people in need of training and employment.

        They went back on the last bit but they are now refurbishing the house.

        Last week Lewisham People before Profit handed back the last set of keys to the last home we occupied.


        Another small victory for grass roots action.

        Here is a another local protest, this time about the pernicious “Bedroom tax”. Note the use of the great British tradition of ‘drag’.

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