Of liberation & betrayal

Print edition : January 10, 2014

Robben Island, March 27, 1998: Nelson Mandela, as President of South Africa, returns to the cell in which he spent 18 of his 27 years as a political prisoner. Photo: STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP

Chipping a rock in the quarry on Robben Island where he endured hard labour for 12 years. Photo: GUY TILLIM/AFP

Paarl, February 11, 1990: With Winnie Mandela on his release from Victor Verster prison. Photo: WALTER DHALDHLA/AFP

Durban, October 24, 1993: With Jacob Zuma (right) at an ANC rally. Photo: The Hindu Archives

Stockholm, March12, 1990: Meeting long-time friend Oliver Tambo for the first time in 28 years, after his release from prison. Photo: Reuters

Zuwarah, Libya, October 29, 1997: With Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi. Photo: Enric Marti/AP

Johannesburg, May 18, 2002: Greeting Walter Sisulu with a hug on the former's 90th birthday. Photo: YOAV LEMMER/AFP

With Deputy President Thabo Mbeki during an ANC rally in Johannesburg in May 1999. Photo: PETER ANDREWS/REUTERS

A candle burns in the most famous cell on Robben Island, on December 13. Photo: RODGER BOSCH/AFP

Nelson Mandela’s moral grandeur as a revolutionary and a prisoner stemmed from his universalist vision of equality. It is all the more tragic then that he presided over the sell-out of the hopes and aspirations of the ordinary South Africans to global capital.
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