What will happen to the ‘Rainbow Nation’ once its icon Mandela dies?

Written by admin   // April 17, 2013   // 0 Comments

 

A child passes portraits of former president Nelson Mandela depicted in various stages of his life in a Soweto, South Africa, street Thursday, March, 28, 2013. 94-year-old Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa’s first black president, has been hit by a lung infection again and is in a hospital, the presidency said. Mandela, has become increasingly frail in recent years and has been hospitalized several times in recent months, including earlier this month when he underwent what authorities said was a scheduled medical test. The Nobel laureate is a revered figure in South Africa, which has honored his legacy of reconciliation by naming buildings and other places after him and printing his image on national banknotes. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
by Rohit Kachroo, Correspondent, NBC News

Johannesburg, South Africa – Discussing what will happen to the country once its iconic leader Nelson Mandela dies has long been a culturally and politically taboo subject in South Africa. Out of respect for the 94-year-old former president, government officials never publicly refer to plans for what happens after his death, and in private, they often use cryptic synonyms to discuss the inevitable.

But Mandela’s frequent trips to the hospital – most recently to be treated for pneumonia – have forced the question of “what happens next?” further into the public domain.

Of course, no one knows what democratic South Africa will look like without Mandela.

Some believe the frail freedom fighter is somehow holding the disparate parts of the “Rainbow Nation” together from his sick bed, and fear an outbreak of racial violence once he dies. Others disagree and think the young nation is still struggling – but that it has moved beyond the apartheid-era issues.  

‘It genuinely frightens me’
“I am not a racist, but…” — It sounds like an ominous opener.

Elaine was about to outline her prediction – an unpopular one – of what will happen when South Africa loses Mandela. She feels the need to declare her belief in racial equality before setting out her fear that South Africa’s delicate social harmony might be torn apart when the “Father of the Nation” is gone.

“I am really scared that the country will explode. There are a lot of people out there who are just holding themselves back until he dies. It genuinely frightens me,” said Elaine, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the topic. 

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Discussing what will happen to the country once its iconic leader Nelson Mandela dies has long been a culturally and politically taboo subject in South Africa. Out of respect for the 94-year-old former president, government officials never publicly refer to plans for what happens after his death, and in private, they often use cryptic synonyms to discuss the inevitable.

But Mandela’s frequent trips to the hospital – most recently to be treated for pneumonia – have forced the question of “what happens next?” further into the public domain.

Of course, no one knows what democratic South Africa will look like without Mandela.

Some believe the frail freedom fighter is somehow holding the disparate parts of the “Rainbow Nation” together from his sick bed, and fear an outbreak of racial violence once he dies. Others disagree and think the young nation is still struggling – but that it has moved beyond the apartheid-era issues.  

‘It genuinely frightens me’
“I am not a racist, but…” — It sounds like an ominous opener.

Elaine was about to outline her prediction – an unpopular one – of what will happen when South Africa loses Mandela. She feels the need to declare her belief in racial equality before setting out her fear that South Africa’s delicate social harmony might be torn apart when the “Father of the Nation” is gone.

“I am really scared that the country will explode. There are a lot of people out there who are just holding themselves back until he dies. It genuinely frightens me,” said Elaine, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the topic. 


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culturally

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Nelson Mandela

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