"Many of his friends did not get an opportunity to apologise before they died, and he must consider himself lucky and use the opportunity for his soul to rest peacefully before it is too late" - AZAPO
"This is a case of insensitivity at its worst" - the Sowetan newspaper in an editorial .
Apparently seeking to draw attention to itself, an obscure group that identifies itself as the youth league of the Azanian People's Organisation (AZAPO) has early this week called on former South African president and world statesmen, Mr. Nelson Mandela, to apologise to the South African people "before he dies" for "selling out black people's struggle."
In statement, the president of the league, Mr. Amukelani Ngobeni, said that if Mandela dies without rendering the apology, he would be denied eternal peace. According to him, Mandela and his fellow anti-Apartheid activists had sold "out black people's struggle through the secret talks [they had undertaken] with the apartheid government."
Sowetan newspaper reported yesterday that Mr. Ngobeni had alleged that "Mandela entered into secret talks and agreed on a compromised constitution which today makes it very difficult, or almost impossible, for government to deliver in its duties to service the citizens."
Nelson Mandela With Michelle Obama
"Many of his [Mandela's] friends did not get an opportunity to apologise before they died, and he must consider himself lucky and use the opportunity for his soul to rest peacefully before it is too late", Mr. Ngobeni said.
According to him: "Mandela and his friends were excited and could not wait to occupy the global political space at the expense of the struggle for complete political, social and economic emancipation." He added that he and his organisation were closely monitoring information and developments about Mandela's state of health.
Reacting to Mr. Ngobeni's assertions, Sello Hatang, spokesman to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said that Mandela had always insisted that "that he was always acting as part of the collective." He would rather the African National Congress (ANC) react to Ngobeni's allegations. The ANC spokesman, Keith Khoza, however, has said that his party would not dignify Mr. Ngobeni's statement with any comment, according to the Sowetan.
In an editorial which appeared today, the Sowetan described Mr. Ngobeni's outburst as an unambiguous advertisement of "of insensitivity at its worst." The paper advised him to offer without delay an unreserved apology to Nelson Mandela for his atrocious comments. The editorial is reproduced below: